RIBA President Sunand Prasad today commences his journey to the arctic, joining forty other artists and scientists on the seventh Cape Farewell exp edition.
Cape Farwell's expedition to Disko Bay on the west coast of Greenland, will focus on raising awareness of climate change; the crew will witness first-hand the rapid rate of melting ice in the region. The boat will voyage across the front of the Jakobshavn Glacier, one of Greenland's largest glaciers moving at a faster rate than ever before, losing 20 million tons of ice every day. On the trip, the team will have the opportunity to create artwork inspired by their surroundings to help the public to engage with climate change. Joining Sunand on the trip will be musicians Jarvis Cocker, Martha Wainwright and KT Tunstall, theatre director Jude Kelly and comedian Marcus Brigstocke.
The expedition will return on 5 October 2008, and Sunand will be keeping a blog diary throughout the trip.
Speaking today, Sunand Prasad said:
"The polar regions hold a profound, and even primal, fascination for so many of us, so an invitation to go there would have been the best gift ever, even without the new and ominous message coming from the arctic. For the arctic is the harbinger of what is happening to the global climate.
If the whole world were awake to what the scientists have been telling us with increasing conviction over 30 years, the Cape Farewell expeditions would hold far less interest. But it isn't, and a combination of denial, disinformation and apathy is weakening our collective capacity to ensure that civilisation survives climate change. I have great optimism about that capacity. If we can think up and do the things that create a graph showing the atmospheric concentration of CO2 over the last 800,000 years, we can surely invent and implement the actions to follow a graph that will adequately reduce those concentrations over the next 50 years."