BEYOND THE KNOWN WORLD

HANSJOERG DURING

Q: What drew you to the South Sandwich Islands?

A: I became captivated by the South Sandwich Islands when I heard about them during a sailing expedition to South Georgia in 2007. I was told that this is a very remote and unique volcanically active archipelago and that is very rarely visited and hardly known. Essentially, it is my passion for polar fauna and fascination for the unknown that motivated me to begin organizing an expedition to the South Sandwich Islands.

Q: The shots of the islands are beautiful, but terrifying. How were you able to capture the beauty in this rough terrain?

A: The short answer is; by patience and determination driven by passion. 

In the high latitude of the screaming fifties, one atmospheric depression chases another making weather conditions exasperating at times, leaving only very short time windows for taking pictures. 

Light and contrast conditions have been very problematic for shooting. I have been constantly observing any changes in light that would permit me to shoot. Four cameras failed due to this harsh environment despite handling my camera gear with utmost caution. 

Without a lot of patience, determination and passion it would have been impossible for me to take these shots.

Q: How have the indigenous creatures and flora adapted to life there?

A: Throughout the austral spring and summer the South Sandwich Islands are an important breeding site for polar fauna with millions of penguins and hundreds of thousands of seabirds, which are perfectly adapted to the harsh climate. In spite of the fact that the fauna is perfectly adapted, life and death seem to be constantly on an edge in the daily struggle of foraging for food, feeding the young and fending off dangers from predators. 

In the austral winter the South Sandwich Islands are completely surrounded by fast ice and I am not aware of any survey on fauna for this period.

Q: The film is really visual poetry. How did your interacting with this terrain bring you to that vision?

A: It is not my interacting with this terrain that brought me the vision to present my film in the form of visual poetry, but it is the other way around. 

Emotionally I feel connected to the beauty of polar fauna, fascinated by the polar surroundings and magnetically drawn to the unknown. 

I live photography as an expression of visual poetry that is rooted in the sensitivity of my emotions and the fibers of my temperament, which led me naturally to the way of presenting this documentary in the form of visual poetry. In this regard, I feel that my work is still imperfect and my greatest wish is to return to endeavor to accomplish more.

Q: What would like your audience to come away with after watching the film?

A: I would like to transmit the emotions felt through a glimpse of the surprising beauty that contrasts with the stark reality of the polar region that characterizes the South Sandwich Islands; a glimpse of a virtually unknown volcanically active archipelago with an unexpected fauna on our beautiful planet that is “Beyond the Known World.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO BUY TICKETS — CLICK HERE

SCREENING:

TUESDAY AUGUST 6TH AT 6:30PM

TUESDAY AUGUST 13TH AT 5:15PM

Home 2013 Filmmaker Interviews Beyond the Known World
© 2014 Chain NYC Film Festival