Activism: Parvati’s North Pole Performance for Global Warming
September 26, 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of the first music performance at the North Pole. Electronic pop artist, yogi and philanthropist Parvati Devi performed four of her original songs on Ward Hunt Island, the most northern piece of land in Canada. Though no audience was present, the music offering at the top of the world was captured on video. The event was the culmination of a five-day journey to raise awareness of the effects of global warming in the far North.
“I was becoming increasingly painfully aware of the feverish distress of the Earth,” said Parvati. “I knew it was totally right to go to the North Pole to help raise awareness of the severity of the melting polar ice caps and the effect this is having on us all.”
Parvati, accompanied by her partner Rishi Gerald, and friend Sunanda Jordon, travelled to Ward Hunt Island from their home in Toronto, Canada. Along the way they made stops in northern communities to promote their message of ecological responsibility. The effects of a warming planet made parts of the trip particularly hazardous.
“Two days before the last leg of our journey, the pilot was saying it was not looking good because of poor visibility,” said Parvati. “I found out that plane crashes have increased in the Arctic, due to the increase in fog with rising temperatures.”
Fog around Ward Hunt threatened to force the cancellation of Parvati’s North Pole performance. While she was eager to complete her route to the top of the world, weather conditions remained volatile right up to the last day.
“We called the pilot who said, stunned, that the area was unclear all around where we wanted to go, except for one strip, exactly where we were scheduled to land,” said Parvati. “It was complete grace. It was like the angels were smiling on us.”
Parvati and her team took full advantage of their time on Ward Hunt even though the frigid temperatures presented new problems when they arrived.
“It was so cold,” said Parvati. “I was very focused on the technical aspect of getting the shots as we had very short daylight and limited battery power, which drains very quickly in the intense cold.”
Four songs and couple memory cards of video footage later, Parvati was back on the plane heading home. She had accomplished what she had set out to do.
“I distinctly remember feeling that I was singing for the entire world,” says Parvati. “I could feel the planet beneath me, my arms open wide as though I was holding in my heart everyone on it. I felt immense love and gratitude – immense like the landscape around me.”
Parvati is thankful to have had the opportunity to raise the profile of the environmental disaster unfolding in the North. In the year that has passed, the story of her North Pole performance has been told through a variety of major media outlets. While her message has always been one of urgency for the planet, Parvati still has hope.
“We must realize that we are connected and what I do affects everyone and the earth. When we begin to see that each decision we make, we don’t make for ourselves alone, but that we affect everyone on the planet, we naturally begin to act with more compassion. I believe the ecological crisis that is happening now is a call to change, not because we can’t, but because we can. We can do this.”
You can find out more about Parvati’s North Pole journey, including media highlights, at www.parvati.ca.
Written by a supporter of Parvati’s North Pole journey. At the left is a photo of the sun setting over the North Pole, taken from the plane back from Ward Hunt Island.