Pyramiden was abandoned in 1998. The town’s population, then somewhere around 300 people, was given four months to leave, and they left behind everything non-essential. Walking through those buildings, it felt as if some vague poisonous gas had swept through and killed everyone in a matter of minutes. There were signs of life everywhere—trays still on tables, rolls of film in the projection booth, musical instruments strewn about—alongside the inescapable fact of decay and abandonment. In the gymnasiums lay sports equipment that would never again be used, books that would never again be read. The world’s northernmost swimming pool is now empty; the world’s northernmost grand piano now badly out of tune. The triumphant gaze of Soviet monuments now look out over nothing but emptiness. The rise and fall of Pyramiden, a Russian mining town located in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.
The land of fjords, trolls and vikings is a nation of 5 million people, and snow. Photographers like it, as do jumpers and skateboarders. Norway is pretty and has a long coastline due to the lovely crinkly edges, making it nice to sail in. There are islands such as the Lofoten archipelago, long train journeys, steep train journeys, the Northern Lights, ferry journeys that last 134 hours, road tunnels, cathedrals, more Aurora Borealis, mountains, lights, some skiing, sunrises and sunsets, cosy hotels, long walks and whales. And the Aurora. Their tourist board has an unfair advantage. Camping is nice, either with other people or on your own. Svalbard is quite north. Did we mention the scenery and Aurora?
"Today I would probably describe Archipelago as a group blog. It was a computer-based system that allowed about a dozen members to regularly post short essays and whimsical observations. Each member had his or her own icon which appeared next to timestamped postings which contained pictures, sounds, and hyperlinks. All pretty standard except for one thing: the year was 1988." The archives of Archipelago show a glimmer of what the social web was to become over the next two decades. [more inside]
The Arctic Light: filmed between 29th April and 10th May 2011 in the Arctic, on the archipelago Lofoten in Norway. SLVimeo; 3.22 [more inside]
The pitch was extravagent: a man-made archipelago of 300 islands constructed to approximate the land masses of Earth, located 4 kilometers off the coast of Dubai. Claim part of The World for your own, or as an investment. Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt bought Ethiopia, Tommy Lee bought Greece for ex-wife Pamela Anderson, David Beckham and Rod Stewart were each rumored to have bought an island, joining other celebrities who had purchased part of The World. The environmental impact of World-creation was raised, and Sir Richard Branson warned that the islands would be submerged in 50 years if global governments did not address climate change. The warning in 2007 did not dissuade the developers, and the final rock was placed in the breakwater in January 2008. The end of The World has not been brought about by rising tides, but financial woes have put the development on long-term hold, potentially ending the project. [more inside]
Lying 2,816 kilometres from the nearest continent; with approx 246 inhabitants; and having no TV until 2001; Tristan da Cunha is the most remote archipelago on the planet. There is an official web page. In 1961 the Island was evacuated because of volcanic activity but re inhabited in 1963. Early History; 20th Century History. Here are some pictures from the 1930's; from the 1960's and 70's and more present day. The Island people have developed their own vocabulary.
( wiki and Related).
( wiki and Related).
BODcasts "The Bodleian Library launches its first series of BODcasts with readings by celebrated poets including Seamus Heaney, Bernard O’Donoghue and Mick Imlah." MP3s of talks and readings given on an evening in celebration of the publication of the journal Archipelago. [Via]
Indonesia is a semi-annual journal from Cornell devoted to the timely study of Indonesia's culture, history, government, economy, and society. It features original scholarly articles, interviews, translations, and book reviews. (note AdBlocker strips the page banner) There's a fee for current issues but back issues are free.