Frozen Atlantis

Values and Visions

We face a world in rapid change. 

By the 21st century, humankind is tipping the cycles of nature out of balance. In a future not too distant, the gradual changing of colour of autumn leaves or the falling of snow in winter will become phenomena many children may encounter through the art or literature of times passed.

The environment around us is beginning to defy the old and new stories we devised to order the world and describe our place within it. 

Frozen Atlantis ventures out to people and places affected by the life-sustaining balance of water and ice that we are shifting. 

Over four seasons, we return to once myth-laden worlds that Rudbeck envisioned in his home. We wander snow-filled valleys where the runic alphabet was said to have originated. We set out to the glacier-covered peaks that became home to the classical Muses. We travel the rivers of antiquity’s paradise they fed. We cross the sea vortices in which the gates to hell were yawning. 

 

Expedition Example

The River of Light

Detail from a map of middle Sweden depicting the course of the Ljusnan, produced by an expedition Olof Rudbeck sent north in 1675.

According to Rudbeck, Ljusnan translates as the River of Light (sw. ‚ljus‘ = light). 

For him, the green banks of this river springing near the Norwegian border and the surrounding landscape during midsummer inspired concepts such as the Elysian Fields – the sun-lit meadows which ancient poets described as a site of peace and music where the merited souls of heroes and artists reside on green fields along murmuring streams.

Today, the Ljusnan is a highly regulated river whose biology and hydrology has been massively changed by the forest industry and hydropower projects. 

Between two of the many dams, one stretch remains in which the river still flows freely. On hybrid kayaks we embark on the last unregulated section of the Ljusnan and into the myths behind these lands, following the connections Rudbeck drew between paradisiac places described in ancient myth and lands that we have changed irreversibly.

Remains of Valmåsen, a village that was flooded in the early 1960s when the Ljusnan was dammed at Lake Lossen.

Whitewater training session with Lars at Håvrahällarna.

Laforsen – the dam that changed the hydrology, biology, and cultural meaning of the Ljusnan.

Outreach and Media production

Visual Communication

Combining expeditions into challenging landscapes with academic research in historic libraries, we produce visual material that opens up a dialogue between the present and the past.

This material forms the basis of a massive outreach campaign. We present it in various media formats, initiate public events and engage in artistic performances. 

Covering a vast range from theatre plays for children, photographic exhibitions to our cutting-edge 3D-interface ‚The Storyverse‘, we explore new ways of bringing our stories to different audiences – stories that have a power to inspire and to make people care about environments changing at their doorstep and about world views that are losing ground.

 

Photo shooting on Ånnsjön.

Filming with Elin Andersson, the Frozen Atlantis team, and manuscripts of Olof Rudbeck in the Special Reading Room at the National Library, Stockholm.

Preliminary draft of 'The Storyverse, a browser-based 3D-interface with objects and animations opening upstories behind landscapes and objects. Courtesy of Tobias Wüstefeld.

What we stand for

Our Values

Going public. 

For the second half of the project, we reframed our Freigeist-project in the field of Public History. 

We believe that actively engaging with the public and exploring unusual ways to do so is essential to draw people into the stories we care about. This is why inspiring audiences outside the university is one of our primary concern. 

Kindling curiosity, we deliver in different formats and for different age groups. Think movies. Think ground-breaking online experiences. Think children’s books, museum exhibitions, theater plays.

Think everything but the academic book.

Going local. 

How can we regain agency in our mission for the public during uncertain times? And how can we live our curiosity for places and encounters as our radius is reduced?

For us, facing these questions meant choosing Sweden as our center of operations. Working remote and yet together, we went for Jämtland-Härjedalen, a region whose nature is at the heart of myths Olof Rudbeck claimed in his Atlantica

At our doorstep, we lead new ways into stories behind objects and landscapes, striking local partnerships that allow us to put our visions into practice.

 

Going together. 

Great achievements and lasting change are rarely a one-man-show. 

At half time, we have substantially extended our team, strongly focussing on storytelling and effective communication with the public. 

Our core team consists of an art director and a project leader. 

In its orbit, we build strong collaborations with institutional partners as well as cinematographers, mountain guides, proof-readers, music composers – skills that are crucial to realise our vision for the coming years. 

The next Two years

Our Vision

Summer 2022
Keys to Atlantis

Follow Team 'Frozen Atlantis' as we set out into the myth-laden landscapes of Scandinavia.

Across four seasons, we will climb snow-covered glaciers, kayak storm-lashed coasts, or follow the course of peaceful rivers, exploring what Rudbeck presented as the key to classical mythology Sweden's nature that opened up the truths hidden in ancient texts.

Encountering people, landscapes and the stories they have to tell, our team of researchers and videographers will collect material that will build the foundation for a broad range of outreach activities.

Summer 2022
Creating 'THE Storyverse'
'The Storyverse' is an online interface that redefines visual storytelling.

Opening up a ground-breaking surrounding, it allows to explore stories in different media formats as they emerge on a virtual map of Scandinavia.

We realize this vision with the next level already in sight – a virtual reality experience to inspire a public audience on site as well as online.
Media Production
Public engagement, research libraries, expeditions or inspiring interviews – the sources from which we produce exciting media for our initiatives are manifold.

Going for print, video, audio and animations, we deliver media products that consider the needs of different target groups – ranging from children's books to video trailers in cinematic quality.
Public Engagement
Communicating to a wider public, 'Frozen Atlantis' activates a broad variety of channels.

Collaborating with museums, artists, theatres or outdoor guides, we shape and deliver formats to bring our stories to audiences from different age ranges and with different needs. 
Winter 2023
Our Journey
End with a bang!

Embarking on unconventional ways, our project itself is writing a story worth telling.

In a public event, we present the many fruits of our work since we started the collaboration with the VolkswagenFoundation and embarked on the adventure of a Freigeist-scholarship.

In a hyper-modern surrounding, we connect the public with creatives, academics and 3D-artists to experience and enjoy a truly cross-medial experience hands-on!
Winter 2023