A simple thing, some old rusty
cans laying on the ground with the marks in the base of whoever
had opened them to get their contents out more easily. I really
wasn't expecting to see them, I had read about the Franklin
Expedition and how the soldered cans had been implicated in the
deaths of the men, I had seen the National Geographic film of
the exhumations and autopsies, but really didn't expect to come
across those self same empty cans 165 years later like so much
litter on the ground. Like anything I guess it's the small
details that make things seem more real. The grave markers in the
previous pictures had obviously been replaced and we were told
to keep a distance from them, so they had a more expected air of
somewhat sanitized history about them.
These cans however were plentiful
and obviously not considered important enough to warrant any
particular attention. They seemed all the more poignant to me
because of this, opened by men in the early months of their
expedition still fully expecting to be successful and not
imagining the horrors that were to befall them.
Air temp: +3º C Latitude: 74º 43' N Longitude: 91º 48' W
These are pictures
from a cruise to the High Arctic in August 2010, from Resolute
Bay Canada to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland.
Pictures copyright Paul Ward.
Pentax digital equipment.