Freezing, uncomfortable, stunningly beautiful: a year in the coldest place on the planet.

(South of the End of the World)
by Carmen Possnig
Ludwig/PRH Germany, August 2020 (voir catalogue)

A return trip to the South Pole is an impossible dream for many of us – but the medic Carmen Possnig did just that. On behalf of the European Space Agency, she spent a year in the heart of the Antarctica to find out what it’s like to live in extreme weather conditions, with a distinct lower level of oxygen and in complete isolation from the rest of the world. With twelve other scientists, she spent the winter at the Concordia research station in the eternal ice. There, she not only encountered the breathtaking beauty of the most extreme continent on Earth, but also her own limits: Sharing a tight space with other people for twelve months, in a world that remains dark for months on end and where the temperature drops to -80°C, requires a huge physical and mental effort. Carmen Possnig’s personal and witty travel report, and its wealth of photographs, opens up a window onto an alien world – making us marvel at our planet’s diversity, and at how adaptable human nature can be.

Carmen Possnig was born in 1988 and is a doctor. In 2018, she spent a year in the Antarctica as part of a research expedition organised by the European Space Agency. In the Mars-like conditions of the Concordia research station, she studied her crew to discover how humans adapt both physically and psychologically to extreme conditions. Since her return she has embarked on a PhD in space medicine at the University of Innsbruck.

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