Women of Arctic Science
Photograph by Esther Horvath
Women of Arctic Science is an ongoing portrait series of female expedition participants photographed in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. It is a dedication and tribute to women who play an important role in Arctic research.
Ny-Ålesund, a small town in Svalbard, Norway, is the northernmost community of the world—with research stations from 10 countries and multiple science groups working to better understand the changing polar regions.
Historically, Svalbard is known for its mining, hunting, and trapping, as well as its early polar exploration—a task that was completely dominated by men. Today, women play a very important role in climate science, though they often go unseen behind the scientific data. I have followed 13 polar research expeditions and documented the work of female participants.
During my last expedition at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard in March 2021, I started to work on this new visual idea, Women of Arctic Science, to highlight the important work and role of female scientists and expedition participants in Arctic science. My goal with this series is to inspire young girls and women—to show that they can achieve anything if they want it and work for it.
Each woman in the Women of Arctic Science series is portrayed during the evening with her research or professional tools, in a place where she is connected to her work and fulfilling her passion. The photos are accompanied by quotes and information about their scientific work, findings, or dreams.
They all have one thing in common: a care, concern, and love for this fragile environment.
Currently The Empire Fulton Lawn on Brooklyn Bridge Park is closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays so the new grass can recover from heavy foot traffic each week. If you would like to view one of the exhibitions on the lawn during that time, please reach out to the Photoville team in advance [email protected]
About The Artist
Esther Horvath is a photographer for the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany, fellow of International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), a member of the Photo Society, and a member of the Explorers Club. She received the first place prize in the environmental category of the World Press Photo Award in 2020.
Horvath was born in Hungary and received her master’s in economics from West Hungarian University. In 2012, she followed her passion for photography by moving to New York City and attending the International Center of Photography—where she graduated with a focus in documentary photography and photojournalism. After living in New York for six years, she moved to Bremen, Germany in 2018.
Since 2015, Horvath has dedicated her photography to the polar regions, especially the Arctic Ocean—documenting scientific expeditions and behind-the-scenes stories of scientific research. She follows the work of multiple research groups working to better understand the changing polar regions.
By documenting the work and life of scientists who deliver important data, Horvath hopes to make a difference in how people understand what is actually occurring with our climate. In collaboration with scientists, she hopes to raise public awareness regarding these fragile environments.
Her main long-term photo documentary project which she began in 2016, IceBird of Alfred Wegener Institute, follows scientific expeditions researching the changes of the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice. From 2019 to 2020, Horvath documented the MOSAiC expedition, the largest ever of the Arctic Ocean. Her documentation of the expedition has been published by Prestel Verlag as Expedition Arctic (German edition) and Into the Arctic Ice (English edition). In 2020, she began her new project, Women of Arctic Science. Photoville is the first festival to exhibit this work.
Horvath’s work has also been featured in National Geographic, the New York Times, Audubon Magazine, GEO, Stern, and TIME, among others.