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Notes from Svalbard


Hello everyone,

Last night we performed in a big club in Svalbard, the closest venue to the North Pole. The people were very appreciative to say the least. Today there is a heavy mist, like dropped clouds surrounding the town. We took an excursion to Coal Mine 3, which has been inactive for some time and was the original home of the Seed Bank, where over a million seeds are preserved and stored. This was of great interest to me, and to see aspects of the glittering permafrost, both significant in The Melting. I took some photographs and a little video for you.

I loved our visit to Svalbard, though the consequences of climate change can be seen and felt. At this time of the year it is continuous daylight, so we are all (in just three days) developing strange sleeping and non-sleeping patterns. Three days without night.

I saw white reindeer grazing and sleeping on the slopes, but did not want to disturb them. Tomorrow we fly to Oslo where we will continue tracking Rimbaud. We will concentrate on the poems inspired by the Franco-Prussian War. Arthur was definitely anti-war.

Happy father’s day to all fathers through time. I hope everyone is well and in good spirits. See you all very soon…

Below is the old seed band interior and outside the old mine. The seed bank is another hope for the future.

We all got headgear
Old seed bank entrance..
Old storage method.Now they are hermetically sealed.
Old transport cars in the mist.
The surrounding terrain
100 Cities
Vagabond thoughts
Patti Smith