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Disappearing Ice Age
During the last century, adventurers have traveled to Greenland to explore this unknown land of ice and myths. The pictures they brought show brave men, heroes fighting nature. But still, many of us know very little about life on the world’s largest island, where 57,600 inhabitants live on 15 % of the land. The rest is covered with ice. When I first traveled to Greenland in 2008, my curiosity was triggered to take a deeper look into a culture going through dramatic changes. Greenland is one of the areas of the world most strongly affected by climate change. With the melting ice, traditional living conditions are slowly vanishing. This is posing a serious threat to the Inuit’s society, whose culture and livelihood is dependent on nature, especially through hunting and fishing.
Since then, I have spent time on the west coast, in the far north and on the east coast. I always traveled alone, and lived with local families. Drawn towards the more intimate family and community life, I wanted to explore another side of Greenland than the infamous and idealized hunter’s world. I was curious to explore what happens to the individuals and the community when traditions disappear, and people need to reinvent their values and outlook of the future.
Andrea Gjestvang (born 1981) is a Norwegian freelance photographer currently based in Berlin. She divides her time between working around Europe for the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang, and pursuing her own projects. “Disappearing Ice Age” was funded through a scholarship by the Freedom of Speech Foundation (NO), and the project has been exhibited in solo shows and festivals in Norway, Italy, Germany and the US among others, as well as published in various magazines. Together with 11 other young photographers, Andrea was selected for Joop Swart Masterclass 2010, which took place in Amsterdam the week of October 28th, 2010. The results of this week can be seen here. Andrea is represented through Moment Agency and is a founder of www.heartbeatphotography.org