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While the Fires Burn

A Glacier Odyssey

Daniel Schwartz

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Terrestrial and aerial photography combine with historic documents and computer-modelled drawings to capture the world's shrinking glaciers across four continents

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In 2009, Daniel Schwartz began a photographic art project documenting the disappearance of glaciers around the world, intending it as a catalyst for reflections on climate history and the relationship between glacial cycles and human lifespan, on natural ecology and human ‘progress’.

The project’s geographical field of interest extends from today’s Alpine cryosphere to areas of prehistoric glaciation in what is now the great plain of Switzerland, to as far afield as Pakistan (Karakoram range), Uganda (Rwenzori range) and Peru (Cordillera Blanca), all of which demonstrate dramatically shrinking glaciers at differing stages. The photographer has travelled widely over many years, creating unique new views of rarely photographed equatorial African glaciers.

Combining spectacular close aerial photography with archive documents, Schwartz links visual art and the natural sciences, continuing an interdisciplinary tradition with roots in early 18th-century Switzerland, the birthplace of glaciology. These beautiful photographs, shot in exceptional and arresting detail, define new ways to examine glaciers as a functional archive of human presence, and to consider human intervention in natural history.

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'Vertiginous angles'
The Scotsman (A Book of the Year)

'While the book has the moral and scientific goal of showing the “collapse of glaciers on four continents”, this collection of rarely photographed glaciers in Switzerland, Pakistan, Peru and Uganda are presented as a group of mysterious strangers … striking'

Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 22.5 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 232 pp

Illustrations: 209

Publication date: 7 September 2017

ISBN: 9780500544778

Contents List

Introduction • Equatorial Thaw: Cordillera Blanca, 2016 • Holocene: Boring Holes in Bones, 11,500 Years BP – 2016 • Last Glacial Maximum: Cold World Present in Absentia, 18,000 Years BP – 2015 • Theatrum Alpinum: Allalin Glacier – Observations Serving Memory, 1860–63–2014 • Theatrum Alpinum: Rhone Glacier – Retreat and Collapse, 1546–2100 • Hindukush Karakorum: Failure in the Mountains, 2010–2016 Theatrium Alpinum: Aletsch Glacier – Dead Men Telling Tales, c. 1880–2015 • Theatrum Alpinum: Unteraar Glacier – Facing Physics, c. 4,000 Years BP–2016 • Anthropocene: Penetrating the Planet, 1955–2016 • Equatorial Thaw: Rwenzori, 2015

About the Author

Daniel Schwartz is one of Switzerland's most established travel photographers.