Changes on Northern Shores

Created by Liisa Kanerva and Kaisu Koivisto

Supported by

In the North global and local changes have environmental, cultural and social consequences. It is challenging to find sustainable solutions, as the changes are multilayered and not easy to understand. The aim of this project is to make the changes visible and tangible using both art and science.


Current changes already had begun to modify Northern societies and environment. Pollution, excessive fishing, expanding tourism and extraction of natural resources hurt fragile nature. Climate change is also proceeding rapidly in North causing both predicted and unpredictable consequences. Environmental changes affect the local communities and their livelihoods producing slower and faster changes on social, cultural, economical, and political levels.

Many changes are global, but problems are often local. The Nordic countries have variable geography and climate from the Danish dunes to the Norwegian fjords, from the Baltic Sea, all the way up to the Arctic Ocean and Svalbard islands. Consequently, there are differences in fauna and flora as well as cultural variations. Despite of geographical differences, we share Nordic attitudes and values, and it is easy to work together, search for solutions, and share knowledge transparently. Changes on Northern Shores will outline a new and useful concept to strengthen and further develop the Nordic co-operation.

The goal is to create a network of Nordic artists and researchers for a multi-layered platform to facilitate networking in 2019. The next step in 2020 is to create co-operation between within the network and finally in 2021 create exhibitions and events in the Nordic countries.

The concept is flexible; artists and researchers find their way freely in contributing to exhibitions in meetings and an informative web site. The events, taking place in libraries, cultural centers, galleries, and universities, aim to create new viewpoints, to open discussions and to advance wise decisions in local communities in Nordic countries and other areas.


The concept of Changes on Northern Shores was developed by Liisa Kanerva and Kaisu Koivisto. They will be joined by artists and researchers during 2019.

Liisa Kanerva is a Finnish visual artist and architect PhD, docent at Aalto University, based in Oslo. She is interested in human-animal relations and will collaborate with whale researcher Olli Loisa, from Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland.

Kaisu Koivisto is a visual artist, MFA, based in Helsinki. Her interests are northern landscapes and politics. She began a project New Nuuk in April 2018, focusing on the urbanization of Nuuk and will collaborate with activists and researchers in Greenland.

Opstart funding from The Nordic Culture Fund enables the creation of the network in 2019.

For additional information: please contact a network member mentioned in the section Artists and Researchers.

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