Polar Opposites

February 15, 2011 Comments Off on Polar Opposites

I have always preferred the North Pole to the South Pole (Ice bears > penguins*), but I’d still love to visit Antarctica’s Dark Sector… A place without light pollution or radio wave interference – and a view like that:

The aurora australis over the Dark Sector at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (Keith Vanderlinde/National Science Foundation)

Be sure to check out the Boston Globe Big Picture post on Scenes from Antarctica, where the above picture was taken from…

The BBC is currently producing a series about the polar regions called The Frozen Planet. The very interesting reports and pictures by Chris Watson can be read, viewed, and listened to here. And now, with Shackleton’s whiskey from his hut on Ross Island being thawed, why not revisit his tales from the South Pole?

Audio Playlist:

1. My South Polar Expedition by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (mp3, Project Gutenberg, 3:43)

2. A Journey South by Chris Watson (mp3, Touch Radio, 50:20)

Hut Interior (c) Chris Watson

*Penguins aren’t that bad, actually…


Ville Lenkkeri “The Place of No Roads”

November 30, 2010 Comments Off on Ville Lenkkeri “The Place of No Roads”

Arctic Wildlife

Field Experiment

Dead Domestic Plants II

Map of the Underworld

Deserted Coal Mine



The Good Times I

Faded Map

From Finnish artist Ville Lenkkeri‘s book “The Place of No Roads”, in which he documented his trip to a deserted Russian coalmine in Svalbard (Spitsbergen). A few more pictures from the series can be found here.


October 28, 2010 Comments Off on Greenland

If you know me in real life, you know about my fascination with Greenland. Stories like that of Tété-Michel Kpomassie, who as a child, found a book about “eskimos” in a missionary library in Toga, and set out in his teenage years to travel all the way to Greenland, never cease to amaze me. I just found out that there was an exhibition last fall at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, presenting artistic responses to Kpomassie’s book, curated by Jean Barberis and Michelle Levy. What a great idea! (I can’t believe I didn’t think of it first.)

It’s the size of the island, the incredible landscape, the people and animals, the northern lights, the winter darkness, and probably its remoteness that has appealed to me ever since I was a child (okay, maybe it also has to do with the fact that Peter Hoeg’s book Smilla […] was my favourite read as a 13-year-old, and I can still quote from that).

Not too long ago I read this article in Vice Magazine about the high suicide rate among Greenlandic teenagers and discovered a young Danish photojournalist with Greenlandic roots, Camilla Stephan, who published a great looking book about her family in Greenland. I haven’t had the chance to get a copy of the book, but the photos on the website look incredible.

Speaking of incredible pictures, a couple of weeks ago, the fantastic NY Times photojournalism blog Lens posted a set of pictures from Greenland, mainly domestic scenes, by photographer Andrea Gjestvang. Enjoy the set in full screen!

Fridtjof Nansen

October 25, 2010 Comments Off on Fridtjof Nansen

1,000 Days in the Ice – National Geographic has an amazing set of pictures from Fridtjof Nansen’s polar expedition online. Nansen has always been my favourite arctic explorer. Originally a zoologist, he became the first person to cross the Greenlandic inland ice, and after that, received funding for his expedition to the North Pole on board the MS Fram. Read about his expedition here or here (or here). Returning home to Norway, he became a philantropist and diplomat, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922.

He never reached the North Pole, turning South at 86°13.6’N. His first wife was called Eva. She enjoyed skiing. (Sources 1 2)

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