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Sebastian Copeland's Adventures in Greenland in 2023

Sebastian Copeland's Adventures in Greenland in 2023

3 minute read

Sebastian Copeland in Greenland:

In 2010, Sebastian Copeland embarked upon a formidable expedition, crossing Greenland in its length, on skis and kites, a distance of 2300 km. Even for this specialist of the ice, Greenland was a revelation. This mission ignited a profound affinity for its northern regions, compelling him to return repeatedly to observe the evolving dynamics of ice melt.

 

Sebastian Copeland, The Dawn of Time, Greenland, 2023
 
Over the years, Copeland has forged a deep connection with the Inughuit community, the northern Inuit tribe of Greenland. His interactions with the community extended to isolated villages such as Qeqertat, a remote community of 12 inhabitants, which he visited in 2022. There, he immersed himself in understanding their subsistence hunting practices. Copeland's investigations delved into the intersections of climate change and Western influences, reshaping the traditional lifestyle of the Inughuit. In 2023, Copeland documented the Inughuit whale hunters and their symbiotic connection to sustainability. 

The Inuit, especially in these regions, have moved from the Ice Age to the Space Age in under 50 years. This rapid pace of change, particularly noted by the older community members, has seen a seismic shift from ice-centric existence to grappling with modern technological advancements within half a century. The encroachment of government subsidies and alterations in seasonal weather patterns pose significant challenges to preserving their ancestral and proud hunting traditions.

 

Zeiss Group: A Postcard from the North - Exploring Nature and People in Greenland by Sebastian Copeland
 
The once serene landscape now resonates with the roar of snowmobiles, supplanting the silent glide of dog sledges, while traditional skin canoes give way to motorized plastic boats. This juxtaposition marks a critical juncture in a 4,000-year-old way of life, now at the mercy of global commercial influences.
 
Sebastian Copeland, Inhuguit Hunter, Greenland, 2023
 
Copeland has committed the last 30 years to documenting at-risk environments, notably the ice. In recent years, he has also concentrated on capturing and documenting the cultural essence of communities directly impacted by the relentless thaw of Arctic ice. His ambition mirrors the documentary legacy of Edward S. Curtis's portrayal of American Indians, striving to chronicle the resilience of these indigenous peoples as they navigate the influx of contemporary challenges, from global connectivity platforms like TikTok to the overarching climate change narrative. For Copeland, the Arctic's ice-scapes are silent narrators of profound tales.
 

Sebastian Copeland, Akku, Inughuit Elder, Greenland, 2023
 
His latest photographic compilation from 2023 aims to kindle hope, portraying the Arctic's unparalleled beauty to foster a more profound, emotive connection with these vulnerable regions. Copeland operates under the conviction that safeguarding what we cherish stems from love, utilizing his imagery to bridge humanity's understanding and empathy towards nature's subtle pleas. “We save what we love,” says Copeland. “My job is to create that emotional bond and amplify Nature’s rightful voice."
 

Sebastian Copeland, Monument Valley, Greenland, 2023

 

These remarkable visual narratives will be featured in Copeland’s latest publication The Arctic: A Darker Shade of White scheduled for Fall 2024 release by Rizzoli Publishing. This forthcoming volume—Copeland’s sixth—is graced with an introduction by Dr. Jane Goodall, a fervent advocate for environmental conservation, and promises to unveil the astounding beauty of the Arctic and discuss the impact on its transformation on the biodiversity and human populations.

 

Through his hauntingly beautiful images, Sebastian brings the beauty and mystery of this frozen universe into

our homes and into our hearts. And makes us fall in love.” — Dr. Jane Goodall

 

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