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BE Interview by Inga Yandell Why the Arctic, what makes this region a priority for a 'documentary' project? As Arctic winds rush over the tundra,


an icy world reveals itself, uncovering the secrets hidden here - the delicate


preserves of our wild heritage and the promises of our future!


Climate change is affecting the arctic more quickly than any other place on the planet. Those changes are easier to see in the far north, unlike changes taking place in more temperate parts of the world. An example is the polar bear. Ian Stirling, world-renowned polar bear biologist, predicts that the Western Hudson Bay polar bear populations will likely be gone within 30-40 years. Polar bears are an iconic species and have a tremendous amount of popularity among the world’s population. Documenting the possible survival problems they will face in the future sends a powerful message to the world about how climate change and global warming may affect other species around the globe, including humans.


How does the Arctic Documentary Project expand on the concept of traditional documentaries with regard to influencing the future?


With the support of PBI, the ADP has access to millions and millions of people who visit the PBI Arctic Ambassador Centers throughout the world. Documentaries don’t typically have the ability to provide an ongoing, long-term stream of information to the public. The ADP and PBI provide this opportunity by continually giving Arctic Ambassador Centers the latest, updated scientific materials, video clips and still imagery that they can use for education and their influence on the public.


In what ways is this project similar to the government funded expeditions of the past and what are the key points of difference?


At one point, the United States government hired photographers to document events that had tremendous effects on society. Examples include the Farm Securities Administration, who hired photographers to document the Dust Bowl Era and the Great Depression. Looking back even further, you can find photographers working with the federal government to chronicle special places of national interest, such as William Henry Jackson’s work, which was used to establish Yellowstone National Park. Government funding for these types of projects is long gone.


One of our main goals is that the images and videos we collect will help inspire people to make the changes necessary to reduce our carbon emissions and help to slow down climate change, but I feel it’s equally important to document what we still have while possible. Photography and videography are important elements in documenting all things for future generations.


Quality imagery may help people come to understand that our planet is in a disintegrating state and very well may have an effect on our own ability to survive as a species. If this isn’t enough to inspire dramatic change, at the very least we will have a record of once what was, much like the Farm Securities Administration did with the projects mentioned earlier.


PARTNER │ PSA


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