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The Islands and the Whales

The traditional hunting of seabirds and pilot whales continues to provide food for many living in the North Atlantic Faroe Islands, but the changing world – both on a climate and cultural level – threatens this way of life. THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES offers a hauntingly beautiful picture of the knock-on effects of globalization from a very local perspective.

Director: Mike Day
Year: 2016
Time: 90 min

 The Islands and the Whales
(2016) on IMDb

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Play your part in reducing mercury emissions, which end up in our oceans and have overwhelmingly harmful knock-on effects for us all. Here are some recommendations from the EPA that you can put in effect.

Watch THE GRIND: WHALING IN THE FAROE ISLANDS, a short documentary offering footage of the Faroese whale hunt, with both pro and anti-whalers. Even more food for thought.

Protect our birds. With seabird populations under threat across the globe, there is no better time to get involved in helping protect those remaining from plummeting into extinction. Most countries have bird protection organizations: Audubon (U.S.), RSPB (U.K.), BirdLife (global), to name a few.

Educate yourself on the Faroe Islands and Faroese culture. Information equals powerful humility.

Related Articles and Resources

Heart of Darkness

“For centuries the people of the Faroe Islands survived by hunting whales. In the twenty-first century, the tradition persists – not only because some people there like to eat whales, but because they enjoy killing them.”

Continue reading here.

The Next Great Scandinavian Destination

“A series of emerald-green specks afloat in the North Atlantic sea, the Faroe Islands are wild, windswept and yet surprisingly chic.”

Read the full article on the New York Times.

Vikings Didn’t Find Faroes First

“The Faroe Islands could have been inhabited 500 years earlier than was previously thought, according to a startling archaeological discovery.”

Find out more on the Conversation.

Mike Day on The Island and the Whales

“Filmmaker Mike Day recounts the memorable moments and triumphs during his time shooting in the North Atlantic archipelago of the Faroe Islands for his documentary The Island and the Whales. This 2015 Documentary Film Fund Winner addresses the disconnection between humans and the environment and explores the challenges we must face in order to preserve the natural world.”

Read the interview here.

Nearly Every Seabird on Earth Is Eating Plastic

“Plastic trash is found in 90 percent of seabirds. The rate is growing steadily as global production of plastics increases.”

Continue reading on National Geographic.

An Introduction to Food and Identity: From the Everyday to Ritual and Beyond

“Food, like language, exists as a vehicle for expressing culture.  It has the power of being both a biological necessity as well as a deeply symbolic cultural artifact, one that connects us to one another on several levels.”

Read the article on Food and Identity.


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