Amphibious Trilogies

Matters of the NSR

We have attempted to address the complexity of the NSR through a diversity of styles of posts, media and narrative. We include experience and views of site visits, journeys and voyages, unexpected meetings and challenges. We’ve documented different aspects to convey a sense of place and its specifics. We have done this mindful of cultures we do not inhabit and information we have only partially understood (see also e.g. Shengda, et al., 2018; Solvang, et al., 2018). In Norway, the Independent Barents Observer is a key source of news and views on the NSR. Longer scale historical and social anthropological views have also been central to a key Russian research project that following a logics of the ‘promise of infrastructure’ of a mode of regeneration of the NSR ( (Gavrilova, et al., 2017: 50). points to matters of ‘perception of change; responses to change; models of perceptions’ and imagining and studying the NSR, and in relation to other Siberian and arctic studies (Ibid., 2017: 54).

The challenge of the NSR is likely to continue to produce similar sets of related matters for others: navigationally, informationally, systemically. strategically, culturally, but also ecologically. This is a zone that is undergoing rapid and planned expansion that is also connected to national perspectives for Russia in a five year strategic plan as well as a rejection of eco-political views over technocentric ones in the development of the NSR and Arctic. This includes expansion of the fleet of nuclear powered ice-breakers and the shipping of LNG from the Yamal peninsula.

So, in addition to writing and posting photographs in particular and some video, one of our main outcomes is a design fiction work called OCTOPA’s JOURNEY. It’s an online narratively located device (see Morrison, 2018) that seeks to provide a satirical view on some perspectives but a prospective and anticipatory views on others in 28 scenarios.

Readers and groups who chose to use it together can follow the persona of a female octopus (now able to run only and and also propel herself through the air is a means to shifting within and across the time frames, locations and datascapes of the NSR).

It’s an example of ‘serious play’: it works via movement, as movement and as a way to try to shift our sense of the choreographic into changing, futures worlds. OCTOPA takes us on an imaginary journey linked to the past, afloat in the present and untethered in emergent futures.

OCTOPA engages us beyond our likely everyday lives and experience but returns us to central to our kinetic understanding of how design futures, expanded choreography and social and political change occur, their significance in shaping our understanding and practice through movement.

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Gavrilova, K., Vakhtin, N. & Vasilyeva, V. (2017). ‘Anthropology of the Northern Sea Route: Introducing the topic’. The Polar Journal, 7(1): 46-57.

Morrison, A. (2018). ‘Design fiction and a future north’. In Larsen, J. & Hemmersam, P. (Eds). Future North, The Changing Arctic Landscapes. London: Routledge. 119-141.

Shengda, Z., Fu, X.,  Ng, A., Luo, M. & Ge, Y.-E. (2018). ‘The environmental costs and economic implications of container shipping on the Northern Sea Route’. Maritime Policy & Management, 45(4): 456-477.

Solvang, S., Karamperidis, S., Valantasis-Kanellos, N. & Song. D-W. (2018). ‘An exploratory study on the Northern Sea Route as an alternative shipping passage’. Maritime Policy & Management, 45(4): 495-513.


Click & Drag: Rotate the view.
Right Click & Drag: Pan the view.