Beginning on May 15, 2021, I’ll be in Iceland to start a project photographing the effects of climate change on the glaciers and landscapes in the Arctic. Iceland is a first choice because of the access to a number of large glaciers including Vatnajokull, Myrdalsjokull, and Snaefellsjokull. Iceland’s (mostly) excellent roads make travel around the country relatively easy. So I’ll be jouncing around the South and West of the country in a small campervan loaded with camera gear.
I’ll be posting to the Smithsonian Magazine Instagram feed while in Iceland beginning May 17th, so check in on that feed @smithsonianmagazine. A shout out goes to the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, whose grant is making this project possible. Other locations for this project may be Baffin Island in the Nunavut region of Canada, and the North Slope of Alaska. It will depend on access when these regions open to travel again.
The Arctic is warming two to three times faster than what we are seeing at mid latitudes, and glaciers are a visual barometer of these changes. They are losing mass and receding at historically high rates, on the order of 4 billion tons of ice loss per year in Iceland, and 1.3 trillion tons of ice loss globally. I’m interested in both the physical and cultural consequences of the warming Arctic, how it is reshaping the landscape, and how living on the land in these regions is changing. The cultural aspect will especially be a focus in the Inuit regions of Nunavut and the North Slope.
A final exhibition of this work to be shown at the New York Hall of Science in late 2022 or into 2023. I’ll be involving some groups who live in the Arctic in this project, and will update as this part of the project develops.