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How Inuit artists express climate change

Woman in lecture hall
Martha Cerny, curator of the Cerny Inuit Collection Susan Misicka/

Curator talking about Inuit art

How has climate change influenced the artwork of people living in the arctic, and what lessons can we learn from Inuit artists?

The Cerny Inuit Collection in Bern is the only museum on the European continent to focus on contemporary circumpolar art.

Curator Martha Cerny, a Canadian and Swiss dual citizen, has been immersed in Inuit art since the early 1990s – when she and her Swiss husband, Peter, bought a collection he’d seen advertised in a local newspaper. 

Today, the Cerny Inuit CollectionExternal link is housed in a former mechanic’s garage overlooking Bern’s railway tracks. Thanks to the museum’s huge windows, white walls and concrete floors, it’s easy to imagine the tundra climate zone where much of the artwork came from. 

In this podcast, Martha Cerny introduces some of the highlights of the collection, in particular, works that express the challenges posed by climate change.

This gallery shows some of the works that she speaks about, and the video below shows a mobile meant to keep bad spirits away.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR