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A unique book of portraits connecting and celebrating life along the Arctic Circle.
201 backers pledged £12,134 to help bring this project to life.

About

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£12,134

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The idea for LIFE ON THE LINE came about after looking at the Arctic Circle on the map, and I became intrigued by the mysterious dotted line that dissected apparently vast empty spaces and I quickly began to formulate a plan for a portrait project.

An invisible line of latitude 66 degrees and 33 minutes north of the Equator, the Arctic Circle intersects eight countries and is home to a rich diversity of people for whom the sun never sets in high summer, nor rises in deepest winter.

I made my first journey north in 2006 and have shot the entire project on colour film with a medium-format Hasselblad. I have now managed to make eleven trips in the Arctic, shooting in some twenty-three cities, towns and remote villages. I have achieved my ambition of taking most of the portraits as close as humanly possible to the Arctic Circle, however some of the people and landscapes were so extraordinary I extended my remit to include them. No portrait has been taken further than 35 miles (50km) from the Arctic Circle.

I have been honoured to spend time among many Arctic people - the Gwichin, Saami, Khanti, Nenets, Evenks, Yakuts and Inuit - and clearly the Arctic Circle is much more than snow and polar bears. There are many thriving modern settlements where you are more likely to meet a hairdresser than a reindeer herder. There is much more diversity to life here than one might imagine.

Just as this Kickstarter campaign is launched, I’m undertaking my last expedition, creating pictures with families in settlements on the western fjords of Greenland and the northern coast of Iceland. Now that I’m nearing the end this journey, I’m looking for funding to help realise my dream of producing a beautiful book and also an exhibition to do justice to the remarkable people of the Arctic Circle.

I’m creating the book with the lovely folks at indie publisher Polarworld and it will be released in Autumn 2014. I know that the publishing team - award-winning photo editor Huw Lewis-Jones and author Kari Herbert, daughter of polar explorer Sir Wally Herbert - will do a superb job, thoughtfully designed and beautifully printed, but we need your help now. 

The money raised in this Kickstarter campaign will cover the design and printing costs for the books, as we search for other funding to support a touring exhibition which we would like to see shown in each of the Arctic nations. 

LIFE ON THE LINE celebrates the variety of existence in the circumpolar Arctic, in the face of overwhelming environmental and cultural change. Please help us to share this story!

Risks and challenges

The Arctic can be a risky and challenging place, and I'm thankful that so far I've come through relatively unscathed ! Creating a book might seem straightforward in comparison, but they are difficult to do well so it's reassuring to be working with the team at Polarworld who have a great track record of producing beautiful books.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About US$ 13

    Thank you for supporting our project! Your name will be included in the book and we'll send you an invitation to the launch in London.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About US$ 38

    THE BOOK. A signed copy of LIFE ON THE LINE, your name included as a supporter in the book and an invitation to the launch.

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    133 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About US$ 190

    THE SPECIAL BOOK. A collector’s edition of LIFE ON THE LINE (limited to just sixty-six copies), real cloth and slipcase, signed with a personal dedication by Cristian Barnett, invitations to events, plus special thanks in the book and online.

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    Pledge £250 or more About US$ 316

    THE SPECIAL BOOK AND PRINT. Only available to Kickstarter backers, you'll receive the collector’s edition of LIFE ON THE LINE with thanks and invites as above and a 12x12 inch giclée print on archival stock, chosen by you and signed by Cristian.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £700 or more About US$ 886

    PHOTO SHOOT. Only available to Kickstarter backers, have a private day's photo shoot with Cristian in London to create your own portrait! Should you like Cristian to come to your home, or a location of your choosing and are willing to pay the travel costs, then he is happy to meet you anywhere in the world. You will also receive a collector’s edition of the book and a 12x16 inch giclée print of your own portrait on archival stock signed by Cristian.

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    Pledge £3,000 or more About US$ 3,798

    CRISTIAN'S CAMERA! His beloved Hasselblad 503CW with 80mm lens, used across the Arctic from Alaska to Russia for this project. Should you wish, Cristian will also give you a half-day private tutorial in his studio in Cambridge, England and off you go! Also includes a collector’s edition of LIFE ON THE LINE.

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Funding period

- (34 days)