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Work. Shopping. Daily life in Murmansk. The design-research team is back in town following their bus ride around the Kola Peninsula.

It’s been an unusually warm September. They have taken hundred of photographs, read to each other on their bus, stopped and discussed their experience of the landscape – geological, economic, political and cultural. They have visited monuments and museums, studied the plans of mining cities and begun to more fully understand the complexities of this part of north west Russia where 70% of all people living in the arctic reside.

Our journey has been one we have made together but they have not seen me slipping alongside them.

At one point I thrust myself up and out of my difficult journey from lake to lake and river to pool … and ouch! I landed in a stinky slime dam beside the mine. They were talking away about pollution, about the open city plans and spaces between the concrete blocks and didn’t hear me gasping. After all, this is my arctic too!

They are sitting in the hotel lobby holding a workshop about how to use this tool. How particpatory! They’ll need a photo archive or a geo-located mapped image bank if you ask me.

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