Art In Review – Last Days of the Arctic – Ragnar Axelsson at Proud Chelsea

Ragnar Axelsson, Last Days of the Arctic
Proud Chelsea
26.01.12 – 11.03.12


– Whale Hunters, Thule

Last Days of the Arctic is a moving and insightful photographic portrait of a disappearing landscape and the Inuit people who inhabit it, by celebrated photojournalist Ragnar Axelsson.

Inspired by the fast-diminishing way of life of communities dependent on nature and the land around them for survival, Axelsson presents us with a breathtaking introduction to a life of Greenlandic hunters in one of the most remote regions of the world, and at once demonstrates its temporality.


– Little auks, Siorapaluk, North Greenland 1999

As the world turns its gaze toward the Arctic; the landscape whose inhabitants have done the least to cause climate change is where the devastating effects are most visible. Their ancient culture is set to become extinct; the probability of these communities continuing to live traditionally is becoming increasingly unlikely. In his native Iceland, Ragnar looked at the fishermen and farmers of remote villages and thought if he did not photograph them, then no one would know they ever existed. It is this thought that has led to this unique body of work captured in Greenland, with unprecedented access to a community that rarely let outsiders in.

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