Announced on January 18, 2021, Antarctica NOW is a seven-day online festival celebrating the extraordinary continent that for centuries has captured restless imaginations and transformed understanding of the rest of the world.
Presented by British Expedition Apparel brand Shackleton, Antarctica NOW is aimed to spread awareness of what’s happening in the coldest place on earth right now – and why it’s crucially important to every single one of us.
Normally January would be a time when thousands of people head to the Antarctic, whether for work or exploration, but COVID-19 has inevitably impacted on that. As borders close and lockdowns intensify, Shackleton invite people instead to come with them on a virtual journey. Through dynamic presentations and discussions, provocative writing and pioneering photography, Antarctica NOW is a chance to explore the unique wonder and vital significance of Antarctica today.
Over a century ago, when the brand’s namesake Ernest Shackleton led three expeditions to Antarctica, exploration was about discovering new lands and breaking records. Today’s explorations in the seventh continent are more focused on fields of science, climate and conservation, all of which are playing a pivotal role in our understanding of the planet. Shackleton realised what we learn from the frozen continent today will be paramount in fighting climate change in the future.
Antarctica NOW opens on Monday January 25th and runs until the 31st January with a lead speaker broadcast live on Zoom and Facebook at 6pm each evening, as well as a host of other interviews, briefings, writing, photographic essays and a discussion forum available via Shackleton’s website and social media channels.
Discussion topics at the 7-day online festival will include:
- What’s the polar power struggle playing out in Antarctica right now?
- How do events in Antarctica impact on everyone?
- What’s left for Antarctic explorers? Who gets to decide who goes?
- How fast are the ice shelves melting?
- What’s the link between Antarctica and space research?
- What can the ice tell us about the past – and the future?
- Are we winning the wildlife conservation battle?
- How can we make the world sit up and notice?
Curated by writer and editor Rachel Halliburton (Avaunt Magazine), the festival brings together some of the most exciting and significant voices in the Antarctic community, including explorers, geopoliticians, scientists from the European Space Agency, cartographers and prize-winning photographers, to investigate and raise awareness of the most urgent and critical issues threatening the frozen continent.