On the Future of Anthropological Research and Collaboration with Russia

By Peter Schweitzer and Olga Povoroznyuk As most of the world, our project team – the one leading InfraNorth – was shocked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. This unprovoked aggression seems to have ended more than 30 years of productive collaboration between Soviet/Russian and western anthropologists, at least on the institutional […]

From Cargo to the Court: Transport Paths Across Nunavut

By Katrin Schmid There is a double basketball court across the street from Northmart grocery store in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut Territory in Canada. During the summer of 2022, the court was missing a hoop and backboard, but the missing infrastructure is not what is of note here. From the outside these games look […]

Indigenous Peoples and Infrastructure in the Arctic

By Timothy Heleniak The Arctic countries have taken different approaches to categorizing people by race, ethnicity, nationality, or other identity characteristics, including a concept of indigeneity. Because of past migrations, the percent of Indigenous residents in Arctic regions differs considerably. These groups have been significantly impacted by non-indigenous populations, including through large-scale infrastructure projects. This […]

Reflections on the InfraNorth Workshop “Arctic Infrastructures: Histories of Exploration, Colonization and Industrial Development”

By Alexis Sancho Reinoso, Ria-Maria Adams and Katrin Schmid The InfaNorth workshop “Arctic Infrastructures: Histories of Exploration, Colonization and Industrial Development” took place on June 14-15, 2022 and was hosted at the Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. The two-day workshop was followed by an excursion along historically significant infrastructural sites in Swedish Lapland. Browsing through […]

A Train Ride to Hudson Bay

By Philipp Budka I wake up because a bright light is shining directly in my face. For a second, I am not sure where I am. Then I remember: I am in Canada, in the province of Manitoba, on the train from the capital Winnipeg to the small northern town of Churchill at the Hudson […]

Mapping Arctic Infrastructures: From the Global to the Local

By Alexis Sancho Reinoso and Timothy Heleniak In this blog post, we explain how InfraNorth plans to contribute to the long tradition of mapping the Arctic regions by providing local-scale portraits on how local communities engage with existing and planned transport infrastructures in times of environmental, economic and geopolitical concerns in the whole region. A […]

Reflections on the InfraNorth Workshop “The Global Economics and Geopolitics of Arctic Transport Infrastructures”

Philipp Budka and Olga Povoroznyuk On September 23 and 24, 2021, the InfraNorth project organized the workshop “The Global Economics and Geopolitics of Arctic Transport Infrastructures” at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Vienna. The first day started with an introduction by Peter Schweitzer, Olga Povoroznyuk, and Timothy Heleniak to […]

The Russian Arctic in Focus: Why Study the Northern Sea Route and the Communities along Its Way

Olga Povoroznyuk On October 11, 2021, the Russian government announced its ambitious goal – to provide year-round transportation on the Northern Sea Route within the coming two years. The Northern Sea Route (NSR) is Russia’s largest Arctic maritime transport infrastructure. In the past, it brought to life a number of coastal communities and triggered the […]

Can New Arctic Transport Infrastructures Benefit Northern Residents?

Peter Schweitzer Contemporary economies and societies cannot function without the transport of goods and people. If we ever needed a reminder of that, the March 2021 blockage of the Suez Canal by the container ship Ever Given certainly was an impactful one. The Arctic, due to its remoteness, harsh climatic conditions, and low population density, […]