Siku ajorpoq – the ice is no good
A photo exhibition by Ragnar Axelsson and Carsten Egevang
2/11 2019 – 8/3 2020
For several decades, the two photographers, Ragnar Axelsson (IS) and Carsten Egevang (DK) have been travelling to the farthest-flung regions of Greenland and documenting the conditions of the people living there. The two Greenlandic words, siku ajorpoq (the ice is no good) hit the nail right on the head when it comes to climate change in the Arctic.
While the remainder of the world is concerned about climate change on the basis of complicated calculations and models, for the Inuit people the case is quite different. Climate change is here! In the words of a trapper from Northern Greenland:
“Every year the ice conditions change. We can no longer predict when the ice will be navigable. The sea used to freeze in November and didn’t break up until July. That’s no longer the case.”
Axelsson and Egevang’s evocative, black-and-white photographs tell an everyday story about what life is like for the people who inhabit Greenland’s most desolate regions. Their existence is hugely dependent on the surrounding Arctic nature, and they still rely heavily on trapping. The photos capture the harsh, yet awe-inspiring landscapes and the subtle interaction between humankind and nature.
Ragnar Axelsson (aka Rax, b. 1958) is an Icelandic photojournalist who has been taking photographs of people, animals, weather and landscapes in the most remote regions of the Arctic for more than thirty years. He started his career with the Icelandic newspaper, Morgunbladid way back in 1976 and made his international breakthrough in 1989 with his photographs of Greenland. Axelsson went on to work throughout most of the world, and his photographs have been exhibited in several countries and featured in such publications as LIFE, Newsweek, National Geographic, Time and Politiken. He has published six photo books, including Faces of the North and Last Days of the Arctic, and has won countless international awards, particularly for his outstanding work in the Arctic.
Carsten Egevang (b. 1969) is a Danish photographer who has been travelling and taking photographs in Greenland for the past 25 years. Originally, Egevang was a biological researcher and initially took photographs solely in colour. He went on to take black-and-white photographs documenting the powerful links between nature and people in the remotest corners of Greenland. Egevang has published several photo books about Greenland and exhibited in several countries. His photographs have been published in books, newspapers and magazines throughout the world, and he has won several international awards, including the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2009. Egevang was also named Nature Photographer of the Year 2011 in Denmark, and received the Government of Greenland’s Environmental and Nature Award in 2012.
The exhibition is supported by Xprint and Government of Iceland, Prime Minister's Office