Rockport, ME: Two Ponds Press, 2020. Number 29 of 60 copies. Copies number 1 to 20 are the deluxe edition. This beautifully conceived and executed limited edition private press work explores in parallel two critical contemporary issues: the impact of climate change and the status of the increasing number of refugees in our world. Nansen’s Pastport is an artistic re-invention of Norwegian polar explorer and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen’s refugee passport for post-Great War Europe. The book, designed and conceived by artist Anneli Skaar, is re-imagined as a climate refugee passport for humanity, using Nansen’s own words in a contemporary context, inviting consideration on how to meet the pressing issues of current and future climate migration with wisdom from the past. Skaar writes: "The Pastport's design is based on the United States passport, arguably one of the most recognizable and coveted identity documents in the world. On its pages the U.S. passport features a number of iconic American landscapes and quotations by well-known citizens.... Nansen's Pastport also features landscapes and quotations. The quotations...are taken directly from Nansen's 1922 Nobel Lecture, 'The Suffering People of Europe.' Although Nansen's words reference the issues facing the displaced citizens of post-war Europe, the excerpts feel equally relevant and inspirational even today." The Pastport is bound from blue North Atlantic salmon leather sourced from Iceland. On its cover is the image of an Arctic tern, the animal the migrates the farthest, making a 50,000 mile trip back and forth from the poles every year. The blue cloth covered box housing the Pastport is constructed to feel like an atlas, its dominant size symbolically enforcing geography's significance to the passport within. On the inside cover of the box is a mounted copperplate etching by Skaar. Named Carta Borealis (Northern Map), it emulates the perspective of an Arctic map; its center is the star of the North Pole. The outer case measures 19 x 13 inches. Nansen’s Pastport is 5 x 3.5 inches, 32 pages, identical to a standard passport. Letterpress printing by Art Larson at Horton Tank Graphics and bound and boxed by Amy Borezo. The Pastports cyanotypes processing by Sal Taylor Kydd and the map was printed from the copper plate by Wingate Studio. Accompanied by a softcover illustrated catalog by Anneli Skaar that describes the book, with an introduction by Steven R. Koltai. In fine condition. PRI/111021.
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