Ragnar Axelsson

Last Days of The Arctic

Storgata 95

28. May 2011 - 2. October 2011

Mari Hildung

Ragnar Axelsson has been travelling the Arctic for almost three decades motivated by respect for the hunting communities of northern Greenland and Canada. The northernmost Inuit communities in the world are located in the northwestern part of Greenland. The Inuit culture and their system of beliefs can be seen as a consequence of a unique adaption to the harsh realities of the arctic nature. In the exhibition “Last Days of the Arctic”, Axelsson brings us into close encounters with the Inuit way of living and their environment. His camera captures a vulnerable culture facing both dramatic social and climatic challenges.

Photographing in Greenland has captured my heart. I have lived with hunters on the edge of polar extremes. I hope the Arctic will survive.

Ragnar Axelsson

Thorvaldur Kristmundsson has for a period of six years visited “Isafjardardjup” and the deep fjords in the northwestern region of Iceland. The area is isolated and unspoilt and spectacular in its grandeur. Nevertheless, some fishermen and farmers still cling to the traditional way of life rooted in the oldest settlement in the country. Gradually, this remote cultural landscape is transformed. Traditional lifeforms crumble under the pressure of modernisation and climate changes. Kristmundsson´s camera captures the organic relationship between humans and nature as well as the loss of know-how and the passing away of traditional culture.

The ice that once stretched far into the horizon is now open sea. The number of hunters decreases every year and it is becoming increasingly hard to survive by hunting alone. One envisions the end of a society based on a thousand-year-old hunting tradition.

Ragnar Axelsson