How did it all start?

21.08.2021 | Marko Prokhasko

Inspiration starts during a walk, a conversation, or a fragrant summer. It happens that it appears with mightily thoughts or stress. Actually, I finally decided to write the first book by the window in the photo. And the second - about Antarctica - in the fall. I was studying at the university then.
My classmates and I had some conversations during the break. We remembered Antarctica, and I was struck by inspiration. I thought I wanted to go to Antarctica. To begin with, I decided to read a book where it would be about everything: how to get there, how to live there, what kind of weather and nature there is, a bit about history, and so on. Unfortunately, I did not find such a book in Ukrainian, so I decided to write it.
I came back to this idea in about five years. All because I learned that the National Antarctic Scientific Center has a new director. I offered him to write a book because I have a degree in history and journalism. Also, I have already written one book, and I take photos. Moreover, I stated that I understand that I am asking for it myself, so I do not expect costs and payments from the state. I undertook to publish a book by myself. Finally, I claimed I would go to the Ukrainian Antarctic Vernadsky Research station at my own expense. The director, Evgen Dykyj, gave me the 'green light'.
The preparation lasted more than four months: I was looking for sponsors, raising money, organizing a trip, arranging with a publishing house, establishing contacts, searching for information, and covering my idea in the media.
Everything with my project is more or less successful. I did not collect the entire funds but still got to Antarctica. I traveled the ocean on the sailing yacht, Selma. After arriving at the Vernadsky research base, I lived there for a month. My work was to watch the daily lives of people there. I did interviews and recordings for a future book. I also took a lot of photos and videos. Some of the pictures can be found in the book. But much more can be seen on this site in the gallery.

Structure of the book

I wrote the book for about two years. The book contains over 600 pages, and it is about my adventures in Antarctica. It also tells the story of science, history, people, and everyday life. In addition to my impressions, I enrich the book with information obtained by researching hundreds of materials. In the book Dream About Antarctica, you can also find sections on the legal status of the continent, climate change, space exploration, a detective story of the discovery of Antarctica, a history of communication, or a section on Antarctic cuisine.
The book was published in February 2022, just before the war. It can be read in electronic format, currently only in Ukrainian. However, I hope it will be published in other languages too.
Going to Antarctica was my dream. She came true. Another dream was to write a book - this also came true. However, I want to tell as many people as possible about Antarctica, so my good friend Taras Erstenyuk and I are creating this site. I also blog on social networks and plan to create video content. I dream that this content will be interesting in Ukraine as well as abroad. Perhaps, in other countries, as well as in Ukraine, people will learn about Antarctica. It will be exciting if they will find out something about Ukrainians exploring Antarctica together with other nations.
Almost all of the above is unpaid work, which has been going on since October 2018 but will continue. I received a royalty for the first edition of the book. But I immediately repaid part of the debt for the expedition. It is unknown when the second editions will take place, as the situation with Ukrainian book publishing is difficult. That's why I created Patreon, where people - if they want and are able - can support me in what I have done, am doing, and plan to do.
The good news for readers is that, in any case, I plan to create a second book about Antarctica no later than the fall of 2022. It will be free and electronic. This book should be valuable to those who, in difficult times, want to get to know Antarctica but do not have the opportunity to buy books. In order to do such a thing with the highest quality, but, on the other hand, as quickly as possible, I will collect my texts that were previously published on various resources. I will also add some new texts. This new book will not duplicate A Dream About Antarctica but will be a collection of different blogs, articles, and materials. After all, Dream About Antarctica is a whole narrative, one story from the first to the last page, which I hope everyone can read when they wish, or at least in more peaceful and calmer times. I believe they will come soon. Meanwhile, I try to keep the culture going and will do everything I can for it.