New documentary »Iceberg riders«

By greenland today

10 MAY 2012
On Wednesday May 16th 2012, Ap Verheggen and Svebor Kranjc will do a screening of the documentary »IceBerg Riders« at the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education.
Ap Verheggen is an artist and filmmaker, who also is Cultural Ambassador of UNESCO-IHE. He says that the film is an result of four years of Arctic filming, interviewing and traveling.
The documentary
Verheggen and his team traveled for many years trough the Arctic World and discovered that no other region in the world could be a better example for the link between culture and climate.
This film shows the transformation of Inuit culture that have to cope with climate change, as they always did before.
– Climate Change is equal Culture Change, Ap Verheggen says.
Together with the Cool (E)motion team, Verheggen highlighted this link by realizing a huge art project.
The film will be presented on documentary festivals worldwide.
The film shows Inuit life as it is right now. No compromise or cosmetics, Ap Verheggen says to greenland today.
– The Netherlands changed 100 years ago from horses on the fields to tractors, and we said there was a whole culture dissapering, but that is not true, the culture was adapting. A culture has to adapt, otherwise it is not a culture.
In Uummannaq they still maintain pride in hunting on dog sleds. You can trust the dogs more than any machines, he explains.
But in the time we was there, the winters was bad for dog sleds with thin ice. And also difficult for small boats, so some hunters had to let go of their dogs. They do not want to, but had to adapt to the climate.

One year end of May it was +20 C. Next May minus 30 C.

It needs immediate adaptation.With theese changes you can not predict anything anymore, and it makes it difficult to live there, but the inuit can and they will.

A honest documentary
Europa has a mis-interpretation of seal hunt. Most inuit tradition are not only based on cultural tradition but also pure survival. We show a seal hunt in the film, and we do not hide anything, for this is the most natural for the inuit hunters there.
We also talk about social problems in the film. Every culture anywhere in the world have problems adaption to new development. It is the same all over.
We did not make a »disney« film. We show Greenland as it is, and that is more than beautiful enough. So we show things like they are, and tried to make a honest documentary.
Cool (E)motion sculptures
The beautiful landscape and cold environment in Greenland is hard to cope with. The same with our sculptures they are beatiful, but hard to move.
We made the sculptures together with the people from Uummannaq, but we had the same problems as the local hunters had. We could forget about dog sleds and small boats. We could only move them by helicopter, so we also had to adapt to the situation, like the inuits.
The only way our project successeeded, was to make the same adaption and changes that the local people, and we had of cause our problems and discussion about that in our team too.
An example to the world 
We are confident that inuit find a way in the future. The only thing we do in the western world, is hiding in naming, blaming and shaming in stead of focusing in the future.
We show inuit culture as an example worldwide, how to adapt to extreme changes. How to respect nature, and dont fight against it, but use the changes to find new ways.
We are proud that this project has been in more than 1800 publications in more than 100 countries. But it is the subject, the theme – not us. We are just intermediaries through film and art.
We never had succeded without the help of our friends Ann Andreasen, Ole Jorgen Hammeken, The Children’s Home, The Uuummannq Polar Institute and the hunters.
Project SunGlacier
The film and the art project are the basis for our next project. We are building a glacier in the dessert, using solar cells and the moist in the air.
Is it possible to make a glacier in the dessert? Yes of cause. Greenland learned us, that we has to think in solutions not in problems.
The engineers and the technicians who work on the project realized, that they do not have to think out of the box, but out of this world. We have to think in solutions.
The world needs new solutions to coming threats like water- and foodproblems. Ap Verheggen is convinced we can find solutions, but we have to approach the future in a positive and creative way. We have to re-learn to listen to the nature. Nature will always win.
I hope with my projects to open the eyes of people, so they can see that nothing is impossible.


The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education carries out research, education and capacity building activities in the fields of water, environment and infrastructure.
The Institute is based in Delft, the Netherlands, and is the largest water education facility in the world, and authorized to confer accredited water education programmes, professional training and research.