Faces of the North established Ragnar ‘RAX’ Axelsson as one of the leading documentary photographers of our time. This long-awaited second edition – the result of more than 30 years of documenting the lives of hunters, fishermen, and farmers in the North – doubles the original selection with previously unpublished photographs from RAX’s collection, alongside personal accounts of the journeys which led to their creation. The result is a rare testament to cultures across Iceland, the Faroes, and Greenland; to worlds and ways of life that, if not for the photographs, have all but vanished.
Raised on an isolated farm in southern Iceland, Ragnar Axelsson (born 1958) became captivated early on by the brutal beauty of the North Atlantic and the delicate interactions between its inhabitants and their environment. Born of that fascination, Faces of the North, first published in 2004, established Axelsson as one of the leading documentary photographers of our time. Long out of print, Faces of the North is now republished in an edition that echoes the format of Axelsson’s latest publications, Last Days of the Arctic and Behind the Mountains. In the 2004 edition of Faces of the North, Axelsson collected the images of farmers, hunters and fishermen in the Arctic and the Atlantic that he became best known for; in the 2016 edition, his oeuvre comes full circle, as he looks back upon the foundation of his photographic passion and career.
Foreword: Mary Ellen Mark