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Department of Geography




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# Big Freeze Art Festival launches

The Big Freeze

Online art festival, 4-14 March 2021 #BigFreezeArtFest

This spring, the Scott Polar Research Institute is holding an online art festival. Featuring work from the Polar Museum's collections, Friends of SPRI artists in residence and a range of other polar artists and film makers, the Big Freeze art festival will be the perfect way to wave goodbye to winter.


Throughout the festival we'll be sharing short films and interviews with a range of artists. Find out about the Inuit traditions that inspire Alaskan artist Art Oomittuk's work, watch a short film about Lesley Burr's residency in the Canadian Arctic and watch a film showing a day in the studio with Theo Crutchley-Mack. Most of our programme will be streamed over social media, you can see the full programme on our website.


The Big Freeze art festival includes the Big Freeze online exhibition. Featuring work from our participating artists and from our collection, the exhibition will offer the opportunity to explore at your own pace.


You can get involved too by joining in with The Big Freeze Challenge: Polar self Portraits! How about a polar self portrait of… yourself? The festival will open with a special online screening of artist and curator Zsuzsanna Ardó's Polar Self Portraits project, and the invitation to you to join in by imagining yourself in the polar regions and creating your own self portrait. Share your image with us using the #BigFreezeArtFest hashtag on social media.

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# Engaging the public in the Census 2021

Dr Alice Reid and colleagues have been awarded one of 15 projects by the AHRC/ESRC to engage the public in Census 2021. This project will inform KS3 students about the relevance of the Census, provide insight into being a data-driven social scientist and enhance the school curriculum. Using Census returns from the early nineteenth century to the present day, students from South Wales state schools will co-produce school resources that explore aspects of Census taking and Census data.

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# Living on a coral atoll: What does the future hold?

Graphical abstract: Virginie Duvat et al. (2021)

Sea-level coral atolls, and their populations, are seen as being high vulnerable to global environmental change. But this debate has largely been framed around the single impact of sea level rise and island submergence.

Now an international team, including the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit's Tom Spencer, has analysed the cumulative risk from multiple drivers (sea‐level rise; changes in rainfall, ocean–atmosphere oscillations and tropical cyclone intensity; ocean warming and acidification) to five Habitability Pillars: Land, Freshwater supply, Food supply, Settlements and infrastructure, and Economic activities.

Risks will be highest on Western Pacific atolls which will experience increased island destabilisation together with a high threat to freshwater, and decreased land‐based and marine food supply. But at all locations, risk will increase even under a low emission scenario by the mid‐century, requiring urgent and ambitious adaptation efforts.

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# Environmental Diplomacy in the Arctic

Geographer Richard Powell appeared today, 19 January 2021, as a witness before the Foreign Affairs Committee's inquiry into 'Environmental Diplomacy'. The inquiry is examining the UK Government's strategic approach to environmental diplomacy, particularly in the context of COP26.

Richard contributed evidence to a session addressing the geopolitics and governance of the polar regions. The Committee business is all being held virtually.

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# (When) are you going to have children?

An article in the new issue of the Cambridge University research magazine, Horizons, explores decisions about if and when to have children, considering what influences come into play and how these have changed over time. The article brings together research from across the University, featuring two members of the Geography Department, Dr Alice Reid and Dr Francesca Moore.

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# The Changing Geography of Ill Health

The Chief Medical Officer of the UK Chris Whitty's recent lecture on 25th November on the Geography of Ill Health will be of interest to all geographers, but it is particularly pleasing to see it featuring some maps from our interactive online atlas, Whitty uses the maps to illustrate the fact that the areas with particularly high infant mortality in the past still have high levels of ill health today.

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# 100 Years of the Scott Polar Research Institute

Today we have been celebrating the centenary of the Scott Polar Research Institute, with a day looking back at the past 100 years of polar research conducted at the Institute.

Although 2020 has been a year of unexpected challenges, the SPRI community continues to work together to continue the legacy of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his four companions who died on their return from the South Pole in 1912, and Frank Debenham, who was the driving force behind the founding of the Institute. We are very much looking forward to seeing what the future holds, and another 100 years of SPRI.

The Polar Museum recently unveiled its new exhibition, dedicated to the Scott Polar Research Institute centenary 'A Century of Polar Research', which you can also now view online.

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# BBC iPlayer - Animated Thinking: A Room in Mumbai

'A Room in Mumbai', a film collaboration between the University of Cambridge (Geography, Architecture, Engineering and Judge Business School), Calling The Shots, AHRC and BBC Arts is now available. This film is part of AHRC 'Animated Thinking' film series.

This film is about today's slums in India. In Mumbai, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) is building high-rise flats to house former slum residents, but this transition has adversely and radically affected the lives of women. The film tells the story of one woman in the process of moving to SRA housing. All voice contributions are based on real interviews recorded on-site.

The AHRC-funded Research Network Filming Energy (FERN), was led by Dr Minna Sunikka-Blank (Cambridge Architecture). Dr Charlotte Lemanski (Cambridge Geography) was a co-investigator, and Dr Anika Haque (previously Cambridge Geography) was the postdoctoral researcher on the project, as part of the GENUS research group.

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# Legal Geography research featured in Cambridge University Research Horizons magazine

University of Cambridge

Legal Geography research in the Department of Geography is featured in the latest issue of the University's Research Horizons magazine.

Dr Francesca Moore of Homerton College and the Department of Geography is researching anti-abortion protest and the use of safe zones around women's healthcare clinics. Existing studies on anti-abortion protest show that clinic staff and patients find the mere presence of protesters near clinics very distressing. Moore's legal geography work investigates the cascade of extreme protest tactics into the UK and the 'Americanisation' of UK protest by setting the protests in their geopolitical contexts. The research also quantifies the influence of legal cultures from beyond the borders of the UK, such as American First Amendment Rights. This research features on the Part II Legal Geographies course which Francesca shares with Dr Alex Jeffrey, Reader in Geography.

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# Regional Studies Best Paper Award

Dr Mia Gray has just been awarded the Regional Studies Association's prize for the best paper 2020 in their flagship journal, Regional Studies.

Gray and Donald explore in their paper, The double crisis: in what sense a regional problem?, the "double crisis" of climate change and inequality. It examines the numerous ways in which social injustices and inequalities are manifested in environmental conditions and the global market economy. They argue the reification of competitive consumption-led growth models in regional studies has exacerbated, legitimised and celebrated the dominant narratives of growth in public policy.

The paper was written with Betsy Donald, of Queens University, Canada, a long-time collaborator with Gray. The two have written extensively together on issues of austerity, inequality, and urban and regional change.

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