Polar research takes centre stage in December

27 November 2018

December 2018 is a special month for Dutch polar research. 1 December is International Antarctica Day. On Friday 7 December 2018, the annual Polar symposium will take place. Also, at NWO, several artworks about the poles can be seen throughout the entire month.

On 1 December it is international Antarctica Day. This date was chosen because on 1 December 1959, the Antarctica Treaty was signed. The treaty arranges the protection and management of Antarctica.


Each year, NWO organises a symposium within the Netherlands Polar Programme. The Polar symposium on Friday 7 December is being organised in collaboration with APECS-NL, the Dutch branch of the organisation for young polar researchers. This year's theme is impact: of international collaboration, policy and research funding, of environmental and climate changes, and sociocultural impact.

During the Polar symposium, a group from the Antarctic Blanc expedition will present the expedition flag to Carola van Rijnsoever, the Arctic ambassador of the Netherlands. This sailing expedition between Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula took place in February 2018. On behalf of 17 countries and the United Nations, Antarctic Blanc sought attention for the vulnerable Antarctic ecosystem.

Walvis GerritzWalvis Gerritz


In the reception hall of NWO The Hague, four works of art will be exhibited that have a special relationship with the polar areas.

Esther Kokmeijer has printed the text of the international Antarctic Treaty on wafer-thin porcelain, which emphasises the vulnerability of Antarctica.

With her exhibit 'Tipping point', Suzette Bousema made a photographic work about algae and light absorption in Antarctica.

Udo Prinsen, who travelled with the SEES expedition in 2015, shows landscape photos taken with an extremely long shutter time in his exhibit entitled Touch Base.

Pat and Rosemarie Keough have made a monumental and hefty photo book entitled ANTARCTICA.

Source: NWO