Antarctica has a lot more acquaintances these days, but how many are turning into friendships? Tourism, natural resources, environmentalism and scientific research - how do we prioritise human connection with the world's loneliest continent? Cabaret artist and environmental scientist, Moira Finucane, joins Professor Steven Chown, and Professor Andrew Mackintosh, to discuss their firsthand experiences of working on the icy southern continent, amid increased geopolitical attention.
Moira Finucane is an Australian legend of Unrealistic Art. With a background in environmental science, human rights focusing on gender violence, and underground clubs and cabaret performance; Finucane’s provocative and cherishing works in burlesque, variety, drama, and immersive spectacle have been presented in 18 countries from Antarctica to China; winning multiple awards including 9 Green Room Awards, International Theatre Institute’s CHAMACO Award for International Presentation of The Year (Cuba), Climakaze Award for Outstanding Art in Climate (USA); her avant-garde burlesque The Glory Box is one of the world’s most awarded provocative varieties. Her residencies and fellowships have taken her from Antarctica to becoming the inaugural Creative Fellow NGV; directing Denmark’s first Women, Climate, Art Residency to her current role creating the next evolution of her Art vs Extinction suite at International Resident State Museum Florida.
Prof Steven Chown
Steven L. Chown is Professor of Biological Sciences at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, and Director of Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future, an Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative.
His research mainly concerns biodiversity variation through space and time, and the conservation implications of environmental change, including the means to mitigate it. He co-developed the field of macrophysiology – the investigation of large-scale patterns in and processes underlying physiological variation and their ecological implications. He has worked in Australia, Africa, the Pacific, the UK, and in the broader Antarctic region, where he has over 30 years of field experience.
He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. For his science and policy work in the Antarctic, he has received the South African Antarctic Gold Medal, the inaugural Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica, the SCAR Medal for Excellence in Antarctica.
Professor Andrew MacKintosh
Professor Andrew Mackintosh is Head of the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment at Monash University, and is a Chief Investigator of the Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative ‘Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future’. His research aims to improve our understanding of glacier and ice sheet response to climate change, including assessing the impacts on sea level, water resources and ecosystems. He is a regular commentator in the media and was a Lead Author of the IPCC Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere in Changing Climate published in 2019. Andrew’s work has taken him to the world’s major mountain ranges as well as the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland. He has a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, a post-doc from Utrecht University, and he has held visiting positions at Columbia University and The University of Bristol. Prior to Monash, he was Director of the Antarctic Research Centre in Wellington, New Zealand.