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A Photographer Captures Life in a Land of Disappearing Ice

Capturing Climate Change Through the Lives of the Inuit

“How do you photograph climate change?” This question is the driving force behind Ciril Jazbec’s photography. It’s what first took him in 2013 to the tiny island town of Uummannaq on Greenland’s west coast—a town where decreasing sea ice has rapidly altered traditional hunting culture and community life.

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A polar bear skin dries on a rack outside the home of Ane Løvstrøm on Saattut Island. She’s one of the few women in the community with the skill to fashion boots and pants from the skin of the far north’s greatest predator. Hunters prize her garments, which provide unparalleled warmth. Photograph by Ciril Jazbec

The changing traditions and declining population of the village fascinated Jazbec, and he’s since returned to Uummannaq (and the surrounding fjord that shares its name) three times. This story turned into his first assignment for National Geographic magazine, appearing in the November 2015 issue on climate change.

In this video, Jazbec reflects on his experiences in Uummannaq, where he strove to illustrate the often abstract issue of climate change with the real experiences of the people it affects … and how he accidentally let a few sled dogs loose in the process.

Read the full story and see more images in the feature article, “How Melting Ice Changes One Country’s Way of Life.”

On one of his trips to Uummannaq, Jazbec had the opportunity to help turn an iceberg into a movie screen. Read about it on Proof.

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