Ragnar Axelsson: Last Days of the Arctic
Text by Ragnar Axelsson.
The Arctic is warming faster than any other region on earth. This rapid climate change has had a devastating effect on the region’s ecology and, consequently, on the Inuit peoples who depend on the Arctic ice for their livelihood and culture. Hailed as one of the greatest documentary photographers of our times, Ragnar Axelsson has been recording the changing face of life in the Arctic for some 30 years. This second edition of The Last Days of the Arctic (which was first published in 2010 and quickly became a rarity) presents 160 of his stunning photographs from Canada and Greenland, with superb duotone printing, captions added for the black-and-white photographs and new images. Axelsson’s gorgeous photographs show vast glaciers, sleds gliding across ice and houses buried in snow, but they also depict how the Inuit’s changing way of life prefigures the changes that are on their way to the rest of the world.
Ragnar Axelsson was born in Iceland in 1958. He has been a staff photographer for Morgunbla, Iceland’s largest newspaper, since 1976. He has been traveling to the Arctic for almost three decades, and his photographs of the continent have won him worldwide recognition, with photographs and picture essays published in Life, National Geographic, Time and elsewhere. The first edition of Last Days of the Arctic, published in 2010, won critical acclaim, with photo features in The New York Times. Nominated Book of the Year in the (London) Times, it was described as “a gift for the eyes, mind and heart.” Axelsson’s documentary of the same name was aired on PBS (in the station’s Global Voices series) in 2012, also to great acclaim.