Entry Title: "On thin ice"
Name: Ciril Jazbec , Slovenia
Category and Expertise: Environmental|Deeper Perspective, Professional


Entry Description: ON THIN ICE is a series of photos from Greenland and one of the chapters in a long-term project concerned with the human face of climate change as it threatens various low-lying regions. It shows the life of hunters and fishermen in the remote villages in Northern Greenland. In this exploration, I spent most of my time in the village with only 250 inhabitants but over 500 dogs.

Story: ON THIN ICE is a series of photos from Greenland and one of the chapters in a long-term project concerned with the human face of climate change as it threatens various low-lying regions. It shows the life of hunters and fishermen in the remote villages in Northern Greenland. In this exploration, I spent most of my time in the village with only 250 inhabitants but over 500 dogs. One of the main characters of the story is Unnartoq, one of the last remaining people sticking to tradition and living as subsistence hunters. I don’t speak Unnartoq’s language, so hand gestures and honesty become an even more important factor of communication than usual. For a European, the conditions in Greenland are extreme; low temperatures require one to be exceptionally strong-willed, and will to live is what has always driven the traditional hunters to survive. However, the daily life of these hunters is changing due to climate change, unpredictable weather, higher temperatures, and the resulting thin ice. The sea used to be frozen for eight months a year, but nowadays it only freezes for few months, threatening the traditional methods of seal hunting. The story also touches upon globalization worming its way into every nook and cranny of the world, as well as upon global interconnectedness driving youth away from tradition and self-sufficiency. In Greenland as well, young people are moving to the cities, self-sufficient hunters are disappearing and a 1000-year tradition of hunting and survival in the most extreme of conditions is being forgotten. Different eyes perceive different sensations and actions, and how one interprets a visual story is mostly the result of inner emotions. I strive to use photography to tell a story that is reflected through a single person, through his own eyes.

About the Artist:

Ciril Jazbec was born in Slovenia in 1987. He studied management at the Faculty of Economics before moving to London where he graduated from MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication in 2011. For his work he was awarded – the winner of Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award 2013, the winner at Photo Folio Review Les Rencontres d’Arles 2013, the winner of Fipcom 2014 etc. His work has been published in publications – The New York Times, GEO, Der Spiegel, Neu Zürcher Zeitung, Marie Claire Italy, Leica Fotografie International, Wired UK etc. Ciril is based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. His personal projects took him to Kiribati, Alaska, Uganda and recently Greenland.