chapter  11
36 Pages

Displaying the Polar Nation: Nordic Museum Exhibits and Polar Ambitions

Re-enactment rituals such as this one show with great clarity that century-old narratives of polar exploration are still relevant in modern society, both culturally and politically. ey remain important tools for justifying polar ambitions and for incorporating them in processes of national identity-making. However, the rituals are performed only in part on the Antarctic ice; it is essential that they also take place in media with a global reach. e expedition blog, which could be followed on the o cial Nansen-Amundsen homepage (including a day-to-day comparison with Amundsen’s handwritten notes of 1911), is just one example. Newspaper coverage, news broadcasts and, inevitably and in due course, a book and a TV documentary summing up the whole event are all parts

of the performance. Although new media have appeared in recent decades, the mediatization of polar exploration is as old as the phenomenon itself. It revolves around strong narratives and encompasses a number of media categories and institutions.