Photographs are both artistic representations and visual documents that have the capacity to bear witness to place, time, and human actions. This book is a dialogue with history through stories of place and journeys through time, connecting archives and collections with the places that produced them. Environmental photography is a field and research practice within the arts that involves the appreciation of nature, both in a local sense and in a wider global perspective. What future does humankind have if the beauty of wild places is forever changed or even ultimately destroyed?
Glaciers are not only indicators of global warming, they are also natural objects of beauty and as such a good bridge between environmental photography and the humanities and science. From the Dutch discoverers of 1596 through the nineteenth century, the story of ice is a vital part of the story of Spitsbergen. The story of ice is rapidly changing though and humans are the cause of that change. We are literally destroying the foundation of human life and we cannot escape our responsibility, a responsibility that is about the living conditions we pass on to future generations.