Community / ‘Learning from the past to shape the future’: new project to bring together Unst and Iceland

Unst will form part of the project.

A NEW project exploring the fear of both climate change and the nuclear threat will bring together communities in Shetland and Iceland.

The Nordic Connections project has won nearly £10,000 in funding from the Scottish Government’s Arctic Connections fund.

It will look to share “history, ideas, experience and expectations” between Unst in Shetland and Hornafjörður in southeast Iceland.


The project brief said both communities share “Cold War histories and a deep concern for the future viability of our planet”.

Locally Shetland UHI’s centre for island creativity will be involved alongside Baltasound Junior High School, the council’s community development team and members of the Unst community.

Other partners include Moray College UHI, the University of Iceland and a school in Höfn, Iceland.

Those involved will “consider the fear generated by catastrophic climate change and the fear of nuclear war, which haunted us throughout the Cold War period, but which is a threat once again with more nuclear players”.

Research teams in each country will employ forms of creative engagement to find imaginative ways to communicate the impacts of societal threats posed by climate change and nuclear disaster.

The hope is to find ways to “diminish anxiety around the fears linked to these issues and in turn foster new ideas for a sustainable future”.

It will involve arts, environmental science, cultural heritage, social anthropology and immersive technology.

A key objective is also to establish a foundation for a proposal for a larger project.