At the turn of the 20th century, Antarctica was the focus of one of the last great races of exploration and discovery.
Men set off from their huts in search of adventure, science and glory, and some never returned. Wars intervened and the huts were left as time capsules of Edwardian life.
In 2009, Jane Ussher and Steve Braunias travelled to Antarctica on assignment. Jane recorded “the unusual, the hidden and minutiae of these sites” in eerily beautiful photographs for Still Life: Inside the Antarctic Huts of Scott and Shackleton.
Braunias took solace in a copy of Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year which had been left in the hut at Cape Bird. Later, he devoted a section of Smoking in Antarctica to his “Cold Days in Hell”, and won the 2010 Cathay Pacific Travel Writer of the Year.
They talk with Finlay Macdonald about their experience – illustrated with Jane’s heartbreaking photographs.