The Right to Be Cold

“The Right to Be Cold” is a cross-border, interdisciplinary project focusing on the Arctic and Boreal regions: It negotiates questions of indigenous rights, ecology, climate justice and culture. To this end, voices from different perspectives are heard on this website. They all deal with climate change, which is fundamentally challenging and changing northern living conditions. 

At the centre of the project is a circumpolar relay of residencies planned for 2021. “The Right to be Cold” is a joint project of the Goethe-Institutes in Helsinki, Montreal, Novosibirsk and Oslo.  

The Website 

The conception of the website as well as the contributions are done in cooperation with our advisory board, which consists of experts from the respective regions. The experts write essays, identify other interview partners and set topics. This close cooperation and exchange are essential for the website.  

To the Advisory Board

The Residency Relay

Another focus of this page will be the residency relay, which is the origin of the project and is scheduled to take place in summer 2021. Participants from different disciplines will have the opportunity to exchange ideas on Indigenous rights, ecology, climate justice and culture with local communities in Nunavik, Finland, Yakutia, Norway and Sápmi and other participants at two residence locations each. During these residencies, participants create their own artwork and research projects, which we also publish on this website.  

To the Residency Relay

The Name “The Right to be Cold”

The title of the project comes from the long battle of Inuit to have their rights linked to climate change. The book of the same name by Sheila Watt-Cloutier (2015, Allen Lane Publication), testifies of her pioneering work in connecting climate change to human rights with the Inuit legal petition she and 62 fellow Inuit from Canada and Alaska launched to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights in Washington DC in 2005. Inuit leaders and climate change activists use this expression to capture their struggle and hope for political leaders to realize their communities are being severely impacted by climate change. Although the Commission did not go ahead with the Inuit petition they did have a historical hearing on the legal impacts and connections between climate change and human rights. Okalik Eegeesiak, Former Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) used the expression in her discourse at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP 21 December 3, 2015 in Paris, France: “Climate change is not just an environmental issue it is a human rights issue and the melting of the Arctic is impacting all aspects of Inuit life, therefore, the final text must make the rights of Indigenous peoples operative and keep it in Article 2.2. We have the right to be cold” argued Eegeesiak. 

Advisory Board

The main focus of The Right to be Cold is the exchange with local experts. Hereby we present our advisory board, which is significantly involved in the conception of the site and the development of the contributions. 

Susanne Hætta

Susanne Hætta

Susanne Hætta is a Sámi visual artist, photographer and author from Finnmark on the Norwegian side of Sápmi. Hætta works with both art and commercial photography, but portraits and landscapes remain closest to her heart. Her books are about Sámi issues and Sámi people, published in many languages. She is educated in social sciences and has a background from journalism.  
Pirita Näkkäläjärvi

Pirita Näkkäläjärvi

Pirita Näkkäläjärvi works as Director at EY-Parthenon. She is also an elected member of the Sámi Parliament in Finland and the Council of the municipality of Inari. Ms Näkkäläjärvi has headed the Sámi-language arm of the Finnish Broadcasting Company in Inari, Sápmi, and has worked for several leading global companies, such as PwC, Nokia and Merrill Lynch in Helsinki and London. Ms Näkkäläjärvi has been awarded for her M&A and media work, as well as her voluntary activities in Indigenous advocacy. 
Anne Olli

Anne Olli

Anne Olli is a Sámi activist, bachelor of science and biology teacher-to-be from the Finnish side of Sápmi. She’s an active board member of Suoma Sámi Nuorat (the Finnish Sámi Youth Organization) and Seta – LGBTI rights in Finland. She’s interested in Sámi education and well-being of the youth. Besides working in several projects, she’s also teaching Sámi language.
Portrait of Vyacheslav Shadrin

Vyacheslav Shadrin

Vyacheslav Shadrin was born in the village of Nelemnoye in the Upper Kolyma region of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in 1967. He worked as a teacher and later director of the Tekki Odulok Yukaghir national school in the village of Nelemnoye, Upper Kolyma Ulus, Sakha Republic (Yakutia). He served as Head of the Yukaghir Tribal Community "Yukaghir" (later "Tekki Odulok"). Today, Vyacheslav Shadrin is a research fellow at the History of Yakutia and Arctic Research Departments of the Institute for Humanities Research and Indigenous Studies of the North with the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. His research interests focus on the history and ethnography of indigenous minorities of the Russian North, climate change, appraising the value of ethnological work, and the rights of indigenous peoples.He is Chamadanidzha (Paramount Chief), Chairman of the Council of Elders of the Yukaghir people and Vice President of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) Association of Indigenous Minorities of the North.