Iceland Joins the “NORTH of Words” Project’s Map: A Land of Ice and Fire

Iceland, the “land of ice and fire,” has been added to the map of remote Nordic locations documented by Rareș Beșliu for the “NORTH of Words” project. The documentation of Iceland is carried out through a cultural residency within the RO-CULTURA Program, through the EEA Grants 2014-2021, the Bilateral Relations Fund, and will culminate in a photographic exhibition in Reykjavik, marking the project’s first international event.

With this addition, the creatures photographed in Iceland join those from Romania and the North Pole, and their voices will be heard not only in their homeland but also internationally. This time, their messages will be in English, making sustainability advice understandable to as many people as possible because everyone can contribute to nature conservation.

“I’ve had the chance to photograph two of the three volcanic eruptions in Iceland that occurred consecutively in the last three years. It was an indescribable experience and the moment when I realized how small we are in the face of nature. Although we cannot control these phenomena, we can assist nature in surviving. Thanks to the cultural residency obtained, I now have the opportunity to return to Iceland, a place I consider a study subject and vital for the ‘NORTH of Words’ project. It’s a land of contrasts, with glaciers and volcanoes, spectacular landscapes but no trees. I’m curious about the perspectives I will have this time and how I will see it in the context of climate change effects. I hope the Northern Lights will color the photos, and I can maintain the optimistic tone I want for the project,” says Rareș Beșliu.

Iceland is a reference country for climate change, being the place where Okjokull, the glacier declared extinct in 2014, melted. In 1890, it covered 16 square kilometers, but by 2012, it had only 700 square meters left. In its place, a monument was built in 2019, raising an alarm about the effects of climate change and their rapidity. At the same time, scientists warn that all glaciers in Iceland are at risk of suffering the same fate and could melt by the year 2200. Currently, approximately 10 billion tons of ice disappear in Iceland each year, according to studies.

What’s Next?
➢ Following the bilateral residency organized in partnership with Ampop in Iceland, the “NORTH of Words” photo exhibition in Oslo will be part of the project on December 1, the National Day of Romania. The event is organized in collaboration with the Romanian Embassy in Norway and with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR).

➢ The next “NORTH of Words” expedition this year will take place in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, where two-thirds of the entire polar bear population lives. It’s a region where tundra turns green, and boreal forest fires are becoming more intense due to climate change.

The project is the first initiative of the “La NORD de cuvinte” (NORTH of Words) Association, aiming to use photography to get closer to people’s hearts, help, and contribute to the fight against the effects of climate change. More information can be found at www.lanord.ro and on instagram.com/lanord.ro.

“La NORD de cuvinte/NORTH of Words” is a project supported by Canon Romania and WWF Romania – the World Wildlife Fund.

climate changedocumentationEEA Grants 2014-2021fireiceIcelandLa NORD de cuvinteNORTH of WordsNorth Polephotographic exhibitionRares BesliuWWF-Romania
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