Starting autumn 2022, the Centre de la photographie Genève (CPG) proposes a new art education service for school audiences aged 8 and over. After Lisa Barnard’s exhibition on the omnipresence of gold in contemporary society, and Akosua Viktoria Adu-Sanyah’s show dedicated to climate research, the CPG presents an exhibition on the Arctic and its imaginaries. School visits for this exhibition are conceived by a facilitator specialising in photography from 27 February to 14 April 2023. This offer is free of charge for school classes.

For several years, the Geneva-based artist Anastasia Mityukova has been studying, deconstructing and confronting the Western visual culture of the North Pole with reality. Shaped by countless documentary films, illustrated books or photojournalistic reportages, it is populated by explorers acclaimed as heroes, a fauna that has become a generic symbol of global warming, and immaculate landscapes. It promotes fantasies of purity, adventure, exoticism and authenticity, obscuring more complicated realities: multifaceted geopolitical interests, a colonial history that is not always discussed as such, or a certain ambivalence about climate change, which represents risks, but also opportunities. The artist seizes on these contradictions to bring nuance and complexity to these representations, and to underline the extent to which our gaze is constructed, particularly by popular media productions.
Her works, whether photographs, videos or installations, invite us to reflect on the differences between our imaginations and reality, on their origin, and on their impact on people living in the polar regions.

Themes and disciplines
The visits address some of the central issues of the exhibition in an accessible and age-appropriate way. The number and complexity of the themes vary according to the age of the pupils. In all cases, the visit is based on the photographs and videos made by the artist, as well as the texts on scientific research and the artist’s diary.

Questions addressed during the visit include, depending on the age of the pupils:

  • Media representations: where do our images and imaginings of certain regions of the world come from? How do they reach us? What influences do they have on our knowledge of often distant places?
  • Imagination and reality: How does the everyday reality of life in Greenland differ from certain media representations? Why is this so?
  • The history of the Arctic: why did Europeans, and later many other countries, travel to the Polar Circle? How is this history told, and which parts are often forgotten? What impact did the arrival of foreigners on the local population have on their territory, and how are they still present today?
  • Geopolitical issues in Greenland: what are the current challenges in the region, and what international interests are at stake?
  • Climate change in Greenland and more generally in the Arctic: what are the consequences and challenges of global warming in these regions, and how are they perceived by their inhabitants? Are they all negative?
  • Communication about global warming: what elements of the environment and animals of the Far North do we often see in campaigns about global warming? Are these representations true to reality?
  • Art and popular representations: how can art contribute to nuancing dominant but simplistic or erroneous representations?

Depending on the age of the students, the disciplines addressed during the visit include:

  • Media representations
  • Contemporary history, colonisation, geopolitics
  • Geography, environment, pollution, climate change
  • Photography, art

Practical information

Venue: Centre de la photographie Genève, 28 rue des Bains, 1205 Geneva

Dates: 27 February to 14 April 2023

Hours: Visits with the facilitator by reservation only from Monday to Friday between 9:00 and 18:00 (school groups can be welcomed outside the museum’s opening hours). Tours without a facilitator are also possible. Reservations are necessary outside the museum’s public opening hours (Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 -18:00).

Age: all school degrees from 8 years old (5P)

Duration of the visit: 45 minutes

Languages: French or English

Price: free for classes

Reservation: via the online form

Further information: by email at or by phone at 022 329 28 35

Preparatory visit: Admission is free for teachers wishing to prepare a visit with their class. The preparatory visit is possible during the public opening hours of the museum, from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 18:00

The detailed description of the exhibition and the mediation offer is available (in French) in this PDF.