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GRID-Arendal and the University College London coordinate Many Strong Voices that brings together people from the Arctic and Small Island Developing States to share knowledge, tactics and stories about how they are dealing with rapid climate change. One form of story telling is Portraits of Resilience, a photography project involving young people from both regions.


The Arctic and Small Island Developing States to document the effects of climate change in their local communities. These geographically distant societies share characteristics of vulnerability and resilience, and are among the first to feel the effects of climate change. Portraits of Resilience illustrates the ethical dimension of climate change by bringing personal stories about its impacts to the attention of decision-makers and people around the world. It shows that the people of these regions are not helpless victims of climate change and that youth have a profound sense of place and a strong desire to see their cultures and communities survive and thrive. 


 Led by Canadian photographer Christine Germano, Portraits includes work by young people in the Arctic communities of Shishmaref (Alaska), Unjargga (Norway), Pangnirtung (Nunavut, Canada), Uummannaq (Greenland) and Chukotka (Russia) as well as the island states of Seychelles, Fiji, Tuvalu, Samoa, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and Barbuda. Exhibitions have been held in Fiji, Greenland, Denmark, Norway, Canada, South Africa, Poland and the United States at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and the Field Museum in Chicago. So far this year it has been exhibited in three Canadian locations: the Vancouver Aquarium in British Columbia, the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife, capital of the Northwest Territories in the North, and the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto. Reaction to the stories and photos of the young photographers has been universally positive. 


Further exhibitions and photo work are being planned. "When it comes to climate change, arctic communities and small island states share similar struggles. As they feel the impacts of rising sea levels and deteriorating coastal environments, organizations like Many Strong Voices collaborate, act and innovate to achieve lasting change. Their critical work fills the gap between those affected by adverse climate impacts and the political and business leaders focused on creating big picture solutions." Sir Richard Branson

Status: Completed

Type: Global

Programme: Communication and Outreach

Tags: Adaptation Caribbean Climate Change Indigenous Peoples Pacific Small Island Developing States

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