Naapurina Jääkarhu (2018)
My Neighbor, the Polar Bear
Production: Suvi Jaakkola & Gennady Kurushin, AntroBlogi
Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. In addition to a small human community, about 3000 polar bears live in the Svalbard region. A polar bear is the symbol of the archipelago and visible in all kinds of things related to Svalbard. The presence of polar bears in nature is bound to the daily life of locals in multiple ways.
A team consisting of a cultural anthropologist and a videographer travelled to Svalbard in June 2018 to find out, what kind of relationship the locals have with the polar bears and the surrounding arctic nature, and what kind of sociocultural meaning the polar bear has in the local community. The film summarizes the ethnographic findings, hand in hand with the stories and interviews of the locals.