Visual Representations of the Arctic. Imagining Shimmering Worlds in Culture, Literature and Politics
Privileging the visual as the main method of communication and meaning-making, this book responds critically to the worldwide discussion about the Arctic and the North, addressing the interrelated issues of climate change, ethics and geopolitics. A multi-disciplinary, multi-modal exploration of the Arctic, it supplies an original conceptualization of the Arctic as a visual world encompassing an array of representations, imaginings, and constructions. By examining a broad range of visual forms, media and forms such as art, film, graphic novels, maps, media, and photography, the book advances current debates about visual culture. The book enriches contemporary theories of the visual taking the Arctic as a spatial entity and also as a mode of exploring contemporary and historical visual practices, including imaginary constructions of the North. Original contributions include case studies from all the countries along the Arctic shore, with Russian material occupying a large section due to the country’s impact on the region
The purpose of this chapter is to study the specifics of landscape visualization of the Arctic geo-cultural space in the context of the processes of decolonization and post-exoticism on the example of North-Eastern Chukotka. The study is based on a conceptual analysis of photographs from my personal expedition archive, and it employs two basic concepts, landscape assemblage and visual dispositive.In general, the postcolonial landscape of the North-Eastern Chukotka is characterized by a mixture of the visual dispositives we have identified. These dispositives, intertwining and interacting with each other, create multiple, constantly transforming landscape assemblages. In turn, landscape assemblages are active representatives of the decolonization of the basic geo-cultures of this Arctic region. In the visual aspect, this means fragmentation and simultaneously fractalization of the traditional “colonial view” of the Arctic landscape. Within the framework of the presented visual dispositives, the phenomena of post-exoticism and internal exoticism are formed, making it impossible to return to pre-colonial “landscape optics”.