The Icelandic photographer Ragnar Axelsson has been traveling throughout the Arctic for almost three decades. Over that time, he has witnessed a tremendous change in the landscape, the environment, the basic way of life. Lately, the signs of climate change have become unmissable: for the populations (human and otherwise), the effects of global warming are visible every single day.
Besides the climactic change, there is also political upheaval in the air. The circumpolar Arctic has become one of the most disputed territories on Earth, with many nations laying (competing) claims to the mining and oil rights of the area. As the sea ice retreats, man’s insatiable appetite grows.
For thousands of years, the Inuit have built their communities based upon a sensitive understanding of the land and the frozen ocean. Rapid social and environmental change threaten their traditional way of life. The hunters of the North are a dying breed. This is the twilight of their society.
Editor’s Note: Ragnar Axelsson’s photographs were shown at the Angkor Photography Festival and Workshops, from November 29 to December 6, 2014 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. LensCulture was honored to be a partner in this event.