Unfolding Maps

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#21: People of the Horse – with Erika Larsen

Over a two-year period, storyteller and National Geographic photographer Erika Larsen travelled to many locations in the western United States to learn about the significance of the horse in Native American tribes - culturally, spiritually, and economically. ⁠

Along her journey she met many Native Americans who shared their profound stories and experiences about the unique bond that exists between the horse and their culture. In this episode we discuss her photographic work documenting this exceptional connection, as well as the insights she was able to gain - insights into how this connection transformed the indigenous relationship to the landscape they live(d) in. Erika also tells us about her own relationship with horses, what she has learned about how to bond with a horse best and what she has taken from this far-reaching project personally.⁠

Furthermore, we talk about the powerful impressions she gained when attending the Dakota Access Pipeline protest in 2016/2017 - which is considered to be one of the largest gatherings of Native Americans in modern times. ⁠


If you want to learn more about Erika’s very inspiring and outstanding stories and her impressive photographs, we also recommend episode 18 of Unfolding Maps to you - it's about Erika’s experiences in the Scandinavian Arctic: "Living with Sami Reindeer Herders"!⁠

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11/10/2021

#28: Euphoria and Terror – Crossing Antarctica with Felicity Aston MBE

“I just think back to that first time I got a proper look at Antarctica: There was something about the simplicity and the beauty and the perfectness of it all that made me want to scoop it all up and somehow contain it in me.”That's a quote from our guest, Polar explorer, Antarctic scientist, author, speaker and expedition leader Felicity Aston MBE. And that is exactly what she did: She preserved Antarctica (and the polar regions) within herself. She spent a continuous period of two and a half years (including two consecutive winters) at Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula. These first experiences in Antarctica then led to numerous expeditions to remote places around the world (but particularly to the Polar Regions): She led record-breaking international teams to the North and South Poles, worked on a nuclear-powered icebreaker at the North Pole, led the first British Women’s crossing of Greenland, skied along a frozen river in Siberia, traversed the winter ice of Lake Baikal, raced in the Canadian Arctic, drove 35,000km across Eurasia to the coldest inhabited place in the world … and in 2012 she became the first woman to ski alone across Antarctica. It was a journey of 1744 km that took her 59 days to complete. With this, she set a world record. And she was not only the first woman to master this tour, but also the first person – male or female – to do so alone and with her own muscle power.Felicity reports on her experiences in four books and regularly produces articles for various publications in the UK and abroad. She has been elected Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society in London and The Explorers Club in New York, and received many more awards.In this episode, she talks about the challenges she had to face during her Antarctic crossing – and the beauty of it all!