NELK Research Colloquium Guest Lecture: Johannes Riquet

Johannes Riquet (Tampere)

Circumpolar Planetarities and Transcultural Geographies in Contemporary Arctic Cinema

Thursday, Nov 4, 2021 6-8 pm, c.t. CET | ZOOM

This talk examines how Arctic landscapes mediate migrant and refugee experiences in recent filmic mediations of the high north, focusing on Nigerian-American Chinonye Chukwu’s alaskaLand (2012), Inuk filmmaker Lucy Tulugarjuk’s Tia and Piujuq (2018), and the Filipino film Nuuk (Veronica Velasco, 2019). Discussing the affective bonds between the young protagonists and the landscape, I draw on Adriana Craciun’s suggestion that “[t]he circumpolar Arctic […] is central to any planetary consciousness” to explore how these films poeticise geography in their construction of the Arctic as a relational space. Bringing into dialogue different concepts of space form the films’ various cultural contexts, I argue that each of them creates transcultural geographies that not only allow us to rethink the Arctic as a space of planetary entanglement, but also offer ways of pluralising and decolonising spatial thought.

Johannes Riquet is Professor of English Literature at Tampere University. He is the author of The Aesthetics of Island Space: Perception, Ideology, Geopoetics (OUP, 2019) and the co-editor of Spatial Modernities: Geography, Narrative, Imaginaries (Routledge, 2018). His research interests include spatiality, the links between literature and geography, travel writing, diaspora, and mobility. He is the Principal Investigator of the collaborative project Mediated Arctic Geographies (Academy of Finland, 2019-2023) and directs the research group Spatial Studies and Environmental Humanities at Tampere University.