The North possesses a vast set of knowledge and skills, built over generations by indigenous peoples and other northerners and manifested in the region’s modern institutions of knowledge held by communities – for the future of the arts, design and visual culture in the Circumpolar North!
Arctic Sustainable Arts and Design (ASAD) is a Thematic Network that aims to identify and share contemporary and innovative practices in teaching, learning, research and knowledge exchange in the fields of arts, design and visual culture education. The network consists of art and design art education universities in the circumpolar area. Combining traditional knowledge with modern academic knowledge cultures at northern academic institutions represents an opportunity unique to the Arctic.
Although many of the goals and activities within the network are shared by all of the members, there are also differences in the societal contexts of art and design. For instance actors, organizations, forums, as well as sources for funding are often different between art and design. Art and visual culture takes place for example in art museums, galleries, art institutions, schools and cultural events by artists, curators and audiences, whereas design is often connected with industrial organizations or societal planning activities. Thus the network includes two Special Interest Groups (SIG): Arctic Arts and Visual Culture Education (AAVCE) and Arctic Sustainable Design (Design).
The University of the Arctic (UArctic) is an international cooperative network behind the ASAD network. UArctic is also based in the circumpolar region. The overall and shared goal with the University of the Arctic is to create a strong, sustainable circumpolar region by empowering indigenous peoples and other northerners through education, mobility and shared knowledge. Key elements of the vision of UArctic include strengthening the voice of the Arctic in the world as well as the world’s understanding of the Arctic. The peoples of the North have the right to choose a path to their own future. Respect, knowledge, and building northern competence can ensure northerners have a strong say and receive fair benefits from the export value of northern resources.
Professor Timo Jokela