Chris Hadfield believes in the power of ideas.
Since retiring from the Canadian Space Agency, the Canadian astronaut — who rocketed to global fame in 2013 thanks to his multimedia dispatches from orbit as commander of the International Space Station — has dedicated his seemingly boundless energy to the promotion of ideas that challenge and excite.
Two years ago, at the urging of his son Evan, Hadfield organized the first installment of what has come to be known as Generator, a sort of 21st-century salon bringing together artists, musicians, inventors and thinkers for a celebration of creativity. The first show sold out Toronto’s Massey Hall, and set in motion discussions that would ultimately see Hadfield bring the Generator concept to the Arctic.
For 18 days in August and September 2016, the astronaut and a team of 10 multimedia storytellers from around the world, including Canadian photographer Paul Colangelo, traversed the Arctic Ocean, from southern Greenland to Resolute, Nunavut, aboard a cruise ship. Their goal? To create art that portrays the Arctic not as a symbol of climate catastrophe or a prize to be claimed, but simply as it is: a region of surprising beauty, with a unique culture, worthy of exploration and understanding.
Here, Colangelo shares some of his photographs from the journey for the first time.