British Expedition Apparel brand Shackleton presents Antarctica NOW, a seven-day online festival celebrating the extraordinary continent that for centuries has captured restless imaginations and transformed understanding of the rest of the world. Normally January would be a time when thousands of people head to the Antarctic, whether for work or exploration, but COVID-19 has inevitably impacted on that. As borders close and lockdowns intensify, we invite people instead to come with us on a virtual journey. Through dynamic presentations and discussions, provocative writing and pioneering photography, this is a chance to explore the unique wonder and vital significance of Antarctica today.
Over a century ago, when the brand’s namesake Ernest Shackleton led three expeditions to Antarctica, exploration was about discovering new lands and breaking records. Today’s explorations in the seventh continent are more focused on fields of science, climate and conservation, all of which are playing a pivotal role in our understanding of the planet.
We are realising what we learn from the frozen continent today will be paramount in fighting climate change in the future. This is why Shackleton has decided to host Antarctica NOW, in order to spread awareness of what’s happening in the coldest place on earth right now – and why it’s crucially important to every single one of us.
Discussion topics at the 7-day festival will include:
- What’s the polar power struggle playing out in Antarctica right now?
- How do events in Antarctica impact on everyone?
- What’s left for Antarctic explorers? Who gets to decide who goes?
- How fast are the ice shelves melting?
- What’s the link between Antarctica and space research?
- What can the ice tell us about the past – and the future?
- Are we winning the wildlife conservation battle?
- How can we make the world sit up and notice?
Antarctica NOW opens on Monday January 25th and runs until the 31st January with a lead speaker broadcast live on Zoom and Facebook at 6pm each evening, as well as a host of other interviews, briefings, writing, photographic essays and a discussion forum available via Shackleton’s website and social media channels.
Curated by writer and editor Rachel Halliburton (Avaunt Magazine), the festival brings together some of the most exciting and significant voices in the Antarctic community, including explorers, geopoliticians, scientists from the European Space Agency, cartographers and prize-winning photographers, to investigate and raise awareness of the most urgent and critical issues threatening the frozen continent..
“Antarctica is our spiritual home – it’s where Sir Ernest Shackleton made his name as a polar explorer over a century ago and where our expedition-grade apparel is tested and used today. ‘Like me, anyone who’s seen Antarctica first-hand feels compelled to protect it” says Shackleton co-founder Martin Brooks. ‘The aim of the festival is to raise awareness of the critical issues surrounding Antarctica, and how these impact all of us across the globe. As Shackleton said himself, ‘It’s in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown. The only true failure would be not to explore at all,’ We invite everyone to explore what makes Antarctica both critical and wonderfully compelling.’
The Event Schedule:
– Monday 25th
6:00 PM – Klaus Dodds, Professor of Geopolitics at Royal Holloway University of London
A new Cold War? – why the Antarctic is on the brink of an international power struggle
– Tuesday 26th
6:00 PM – Mark Drinkwater, Head, Earth and Mission Science Division at the European Space Agency
Checking Earth’s Pulse at the Poles from Space: Are 2020 vital signs cause for concern?
– Wednesday 27th
6:00 PM – Dr Mackenzie Grieman, Post Doctoral Research Associate at the Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University
Ice as a time machine – what stories can glaciers and ice sheets can tell us about our past?
– Thursday 28th
6:00 PM – Sebastian Copeland, Photographer, filmmaker, explorer & philanthropist
Waking the giant – how can photography help bring about change?
– Friday 29th
6:00 PM – Lizzie Daly, Biologist & wildlife broadcaster
From gentoo penguins to Antarctic blue whales – what needs to be done to win the wildlife conservation battle?
– Saturday 30th
6:00 PM – Hugh Broughton, Architect and leading designer of research facilities in the Polar Regions
Polar architecture – what are the challenges of designing for the world’s most extreme environment?
– Sunday 31st
5:00 PM – Steve Jones, Expedition Manager at Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions
Earth’s final frontier – what advice do today’s explorers need and why did Scott and Shackleton’s expeditions go wrong?
6:00 PM – Louis Rudd MBE, Record-breaking polar explorer & SAS Soldier
Tales of the Unexpected – the inside story on The Spirit of Endurance Expedition.
Notes to Editors:
To find out more about the festival please contact Nigel Brown. ([email protected] | Tel: 07525 328 977
We are delighted to offer speakers for interviews, and if you would like more information on the festival please don’t hesitate to get in touch.