Sustainability | Nominee

Gregor Sailer

Vomp / AT

The Polar Silk Road


Temperatures up to 55 degree Celsius below zero, military restriction zones, extensive research, and the unpredictability of the Arctic made this project with the analog view camera an enormous challenge. The Polar Silk Road deals with the economic exploitation of the Arctic regions and the territorial claims of the respective neighboring states. The associated consequences are geopolitical tensions as well as the expansion of military structures and research stations, which I highlight in his project. Five countries border the Arctic Ocean. The region is populated by indigenous peoples, albeit very sparsely due to the severely adverse living conditions. Three maritime routes allow a crossing of the Arctic Ocean, depending on the season and the extent of the ice cover. But the melting of the sea ice is set to create a shorter trade route in the future, the so-called Polar Silk Road, providing access to new raw material deposits (natural gas and oil).


Born 1980, Schwaz, Tyrol, Austria. Lives and works in Tyrol, Austria. Between 2002 and 2007, Gregor Sailer studied communication design, with a focus on photography and experimental film, at the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Germany). In 2015 he was granted his master’s degree in photographic studies from the same institution. He has since received numerous international awards and produced several publications. Exhibitions in New York, Washington D.C., Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Arles, Munich, Geneva, Barcelona, Vienna, Prague, Budapest a.o.