Climate Migration – Between Two Shores – Henna Asikainen
I am a Finnish artist that has been based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK since 1998. My artwork explores questions surrounding our relationship with nature. Most of my work combines ecological and social issues and is made with the participation of different members of the community and particularly with people who have a lived experience of migration and displacement. Working together, we make communal and social experiences within rural landscapes and use these to explore issues including things like; inequalities in access to nature and green spaces; our different experiences of migration; what it takes to develop a sense of belonging – to feel at home – and our intricate relationship with nature.
As the work has developed it has become increasingly centred on scientific, social and political concerns for the habitability of the planet and the possibly permanent damage that the current economic system is causing to both our own and the habitats of all other living things and particularly the very immediate impact of climate change on how we live and where we live.
My current project between two shores was launched at part of Refugee Week: We Cannot Walk Alone 2021 and it examines the intertwined issues of climate change as a driver of migration and its impact on landscape, migration and human rights.
Although profoundly global in its reach, the project is centred around the ancient tidal causeway to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. As well as being a historic and sacred site and an ecologically important environment, the islands causeway also serves as a powerful metaphor for the intentions of the project as it will gradually disappear as a result of sea-level rise.
between two shores will be made jointly with people seeking sanctuary in the North East of England and residents of Lindisfarne. It will include a walk together across the causeway to the island the establishment of an archive of ‘climigration’ testimonies from those who have lost their home as a result of climate change and the islanders accounts of the changes that have occurred through their lifetimes.
Here is a link to the video which introduces some thoughts behind ‘the between two shores’ project and the environment in which it will take place.
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