The Arctic was never considered a place for women. Throughout history, women have been deemed unfit to deal with the challenges that come with an isolated life in the wilderness. Non-indigenous people to the Arctic have long conceptualized the polar region as a barren, inhospitable landscape where only the toughest of men could survive. Built into this affirmation of the adventurous and engineering nature of men is the systematic refusal of women into the arctic world.
At the same time the Arctic has traditionally been gendered as feminine in the Western world. Initially, it was regarded a region to be conquered and penetrated. Whereas this view has shifted in post-colonial times, the Arctic is still conceived of as feminine and is now collectively imagined as a barren, ‘virgin’ land in distress, in need of our protection.
The project Only Barely Still aims to propose a different narrative of the Arctic and its collective imaginary. By standing on the axis of two misconceptions – about the Arctic on one hand, and the women in it on the other – it wants to respectfully capture their synergy.
(2017 – ongoing)