University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Geographies of Knowledge - Department of Geography > Screening of Ruth Maclennan's film: Call of North

Screening of Ruth Maclennan's film: Call of North

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Call of North was filmed near the Arctic Circle on the White Sea in northwest Russia. It follows people’s relationships with the sea, and the changes associated with climate change and the geopolitical shift northward. The traumatic past of the ‘Zone’ – Stalin’s labour camps – continues to haunt. The economic collapse and recent political tensions are alluded to obliquely, hanging in the air.

North occupies a mythical place in Russia: ice maidens, woodcutters, wolves, bears, fishing and endless forests. The Arctic was the first Soviet frontier and is once again the focus of attention and speculation.

Call of North is the call of the voices of a place. The matter of place, the sounds of birds, sea, insects, grass, trees and wind, boats, trains and cars interweave with the voices of marine biologists, sailors, fishermen, a retired teacher, a kolkhoz worker and miner, a telephone engineer, a cook, a hotelier, a little boy, and many others who live here. They tell of their experiences. Some return to stories that haven’t been fully told or to unfinished business. There are warnings, too, of changes that are here already that could destroy what is left.

This talk is part of the Geographies of Knowledge - Department of Geography series.

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