Photographer Jeroen Toirkens (1971) and journalist and television presenter Jelle Brandt Corstius (1978) have visited the forests of the boreal zone for the past four years. Thirty percent of all trees on earth are found in the boreal forests, a band of mainly coniferous trees that extends across Europe, Asia and North America. These forests, also called taiga, form an essential part of the ecological balance on earth, converting carbon dioxide into oxygen on a large scale. Together with the Amazon, they form the lungs of our planet yet less than twelve percent of these forests are protected.
For Borealis, Toirkens and Brandt Corstius have researched the stories of the forests and the people who inhabit them. At a time when the effects of climate change can be seen and felt more clearly, there is an urgent need to share these stories with a large audience. Toirkens’s images show the mythical appeal of forests, but also the ways in which the inhabitants of the boreal zone treat and protect their habitat. In the form of an audio tour narrated by Brandt Corstius we get to hear both the experiences of the makers and the stories of the people who live in these forests.