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The Arctic Circle Conference

Attendees include a range of global decision–makers from all sectors, including political and business leaders, indigenous representatives, non governmental and environmental representatives, policy and thought leaders, scientists, experts, activists, student and media for the Arctic countries as well as Asia, Europe and other parts of the world.

Proposed sessions can cover topics under any of the following

Issues as they relate to the Arctic:

• Sea ice melt and extreme weather

• Polar law: treaties and agreements

• the role and rights of indigenous peoples

• Security in the Arctic

• Shipping and transportation infrastructure

• The prospects and risks of oil and gas drilling

• Clean energy achievements and sustainable development

• Arctic resources

• Business cooperation in the Arctic

• The role of Asian and European countries in the Arctic

• Greenland in the new Arctic

• Fisheries and ecosystem management

• The science of ice: global research cooperation

• Arctic tourism

• The ice-dependent world: the Arctic and the Himalayas

The subject matter’s of the Arctic Circle conference would directly inform and support the work I am doing during the University of Toledo’s 2014-2014, academic school year. I am the writer and director of the play “The Immortals”, which will have 9 performances at University of Toledo’s Center Theatre, in April 2014. This production uses large-scale puppetry, and mythical stories to explore the human impact on the planet. The setting of the play is a utopic land called Hyperborea, whose name means “beyond the north wind”. Stories of Hyperborea have been told though out history and across cultures. Although they may vary in character and message, this universal myth is always connected to the very real place, The Artic Circle. Historically, the myth and the place, has acted as a crossroad for philosophers, scientists, historians, and artists alike, to discuss the literal and symbolic connections between man, the planet, and spirituality.

My job as a writer and director is to give the clearest and most accurate depiction of the story I am trying to tell, and I believe the conference will aid in this. “The Immortals” is a modern interpretation of the myth, in which I create parallels to a real and imagined Arctic Circle of today. In it, this once perfect place is seen in throes of extinction. Devastation and decay, the cause of pollution, climate change, animal extinction, and more, has ruined the land. I will attend meetings in the forms of announcements and presentations, press conferences, Open or moderated dialogues and bilateral meetings, Forum debates, Workshops and interactive sessions, One-on-one speaker engagements, Town hall meetings, Panel discussions, Informal networking meetings, Small group forums, and Exhibitions on the very specific topics I am writing about. After attending multiple sessions, I plan to infuse these new ideas into the working script.

In addition, the unique arts and cultural attributes of the Arctic will also be presented through a variety of performances, exhibitions and programs. Attending these art events inspires discussions with other like-minded artist on the idea of creating art around these matters. This is a way to build strong relationships across borders for future student and university artistic endeavors.

My goal is to start an open conversation revealing and illuminating the challenges concerning The Artic Circle and environmental matters, through performance, but also in the conversation that follows. After performances, I will hold discussion groups, or “talk backs” about what I have learned at the conference. Some of the performances are specifically held for high school students, and others are for a general audience. In both cases, speaking about what I may have learned, how it affected the process, and what solutions I may offer, is an important part of this project.

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