Røst AiR

The Right to Be Cold

The Right to Be Cold and Røst AiR present Tatiana Philippova who will join Røst AiR as a digital resident through the Residency Relay program during November – December 2021.

Tatiana Philippova is a writer from Yakutsk, The Sakha Republic, Russia. She is focused on fragmentary prose, which intends to follow principles of non-linear connections as in «rhizome» that allows for multiple, non-hierarchical entries. Pieces of prose and poetry she assembles to the so-called «Set» («Sborka»), the structure of which is built on rhythm. That’s how she as a queer person, a lesbian, and a Sakha woman recollects her «self» by decolonizing her experience.

Her grandparents were forced to leave their land (this event is called «Churapchinskoe pereselenie» – «Churapcha forced relocation») during WW II. They strived to return to their homes, but now global climate change gradually transforms Yakutia into some other place with forest fires, floods, earth hollows due to thawing permafrost. Can modern indigenous people of Yakutia find a new homeland elsewhere or they should continue to live on their ancestor’s land with the feeling of catastrophe — this is the question she tries to answer in her expression. Tatiana is a winner of the «Znamya» literature magazine award 2020. She lives in Yakutsk.




The program “The Right to Be Cold” has been developed in consultation with Tero Mustonen (Snowchange) and Elin Már Øyen Vister (Røst AiR). The Goethe-Institut would also like to express its appreciation to all the current project participants: Aka Niviâna, Assinajaq, Avataq Cultural Institute, Dáiddadállu, Giovanna Esposito Yussif, Malakta, Patricia Rodas, Sámi Dáiddaguovddáš, Stina Aikio, Sunna Nousuniemi, and the National Art Museum of the Republic of Sakha.

Glaciers are melting, “eternal” ice is disappearing – it is getting warmer and warmer in the otherwise cold north. Climate change is making northern living conditions drastically more difficult. The international and interdisciplinary project “The Right to Be Cold” focuses on the so-called Arctic and Boreal region. In particular, it addresses questions of Indigenous knowledge, ecology, climate justice and culture, and the challenges the people in the regions affected by climate change are facing.

The main format is a circumpolar chain of residencies and virtual exchange. Within this project, existing and new residency programs in Nunavik, Finland, Yakutia, Norway, and Sápmi establish a network for artists and researchers.

* 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.

Read more at Goethe-Institut here and here