Kantel je scherm om verder te gaan.

the project

What is it about the forest? The moment you step in between the trees, something changes. There is a shift in the air and sounds seem different somehow. The forest is a place where you can feel safe, enveloped by tall trees, the calming rustle of leaves and the coolness on a hot summer’s day. But the forest can also be a mysterious place, frightening even. Children lie awake at night after hearing tales of bandits lurking in dark forests. Ever since our forefathers climbed down from the trees and plunged into the savannah, humans have been fascinated by the forest.

'carbon sink'

The boreal forest is a circle of mostly coniferous trees stretching across northern Europe, Asia and North America. It is the largest vegetation zone (biome) on earth and makes up around 30% of the total forested area. These Boreal forests, also called taiga, are of inestimable value. The taiga is one of the most significant carbon stores in the world. The forests, peatlands and swamps of the boreal zone store about 40 percent of the terestrial carbon. These so-called ‘carbon sinks’ are very important because the stored carbon would otherwise end up in the atmosphere as CO2.

For Borealis, photographer Jeroen Toirkens and journalist Jelle Brandt Corstius have visited these forests in search of the stories and people in the forests. Who lives in them? How do they live? And how do the forest-dwellers relate to their surroundings?

our travels

Between 2016 and the end of 2019, we made eight trips in total: some nearby, others far away.  In search for the forest and for the stories that lie hidden within it.

'stories about people living in the taiga'

Now that the impact of climate change can be seen and felt increasingly clearly, it is important that these stories are heard. They bear witness to the ancient mythical appeal of forests, but they also show how the inhabitants of the boreal zone manage and protect their habitat.

travel with us

For this project we have created a unique limited collectors edition with eight items from our travels to the forest. Including the book, signed fine-art prints by Jeroen and two essays by Jelle. Together in a beautifully crafted birch wooden box. Numbered 001/500 to 500/500 and all signed. The cassette is for sale in our new webshop. Our book, special editions and framed prints are in presale.

The book is published in conjunction with the exhibitions  
Borealis Life in the woods at Fotomuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands, Jan-May 2021 and Anchorage Museum, Alaska, United States, June-Oct 2021

a unique wooden cassette in a limited, numbered edition of 500

eight special souvenirs from eight remarkable journeys

a yearly invitation for an exclusive lecture
where we will will talk about our adventures

the book borealis

about us

Photographer Jeroen Toirkens and journalist Jelle Brandt Corstius previously collaborated on the NomadsLife project, in which they sought out the last living nomads in the Northern Hemisphere. The result of this collaboration was the much-lauded book Nomad and a variety of different joint reportages in national and international media. Their collaboration is characterised by a desire to take an in-depth look at the chosen topics. These are intensive, extensive, ‘slow journalism’ projects in which the subject is approached from as many different angles as possible. We train our inquisitive gaze on the story and look for the human beings behind it.

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