Ski tourer from behind.



Lasting discussions between ski tours and snowshoe hikes at the Uri Institute Days

Lasting discussions between ski tours and snowshoe hikes at the Uri Institute Days

The program was filled with exciting outdoor excursions and a host of workshops regarding the future of the institute on a regional and national level. The institute director Prof. Dr. Boris Previšić led the first of three skiing tours on the morning of the 17th with an exploration of the different stages of alpine farming in Uri between Brug and Eggen. The program then continued on from the late afternoon with a talk and workshop hosted by philosopher, Dr. Jens Badura. The UNESCO Futures Literacy framework operated as a guide to imagine what role the institute will have in a fast changing global environment that faces a number of challenges. These extensive and rich discussions were then followed by a meal at restaurant Schützenmatt as the evening was closed off by a visit to Cinema Leuzinger for the weekly Studiofilm. The directorial debut of Laura Baumeister de Montis, La hija de todas las rabias (Daughters of Rage, 2022), was indeed a sobering reminder of the different landscapes, climates, and conditions faced in the global context.

On the morning of the 18th, the ski tour recommenced and this time the adventurers faced a rainy and windy climate along the slopes of Gotthard Hospiz. Those who had a liking for an outdoor excursion but perhaps at a different pace, were led by the environmental economist Dr. Anina Boogen on a snow shoe walking tour in the Urseren Valley. In the 1940s, a large-scale hydropower project to supply electricity had been planned in the area but this great industrial feat would have also likely submerged the villages of Andermatt, Realp, and Hospental. Our walk along the Urseren Valley was accompanied by an immersive sound recording produced by Dr Boogen entitled `On potentialities/ reservoirs` imagining what might have otherwise been. This very ability to imagine otherwise is especially important as the question of renewable energy sources is now at the forefront of future climate strategies. It was with this theme in mind that the snowshoe walkers then continued on to Andermatt where windmills have been inserted as a source of renewable energy and now make up a permanent part of the landscape.

The two groups met back in Altdorf for dinner at the Working Point before continuing with the second part of the workshop. The members discussed their individual projects along the three topics that had emerged the previous evening - mobility and migration in the alps, climate change and alpine cultures, and community empowerment through knowledge sharing to equip for the challenges and opportunities of the future. The different expertise available at the institute and the array of possibilities for positive intervention were the highlight of the evening. The following morning of the 19th offered idyllic conditions for skiing in the sun between Urigen and Mettenen. Others opted to remain in Altdorf for the day to look through the extensive library and alpine resources on offer at the institute. Overall, this was a promising start to the year for the Institute Cultures of the Alps and we look forward to the year up ahead!

Published on 20. January 2024