(The Most Icelandic of Icelanders… with Sveinn S from Reykjavík)
There’s a guy I know called Jon Gudmundsson, an Icelander living in the north of England who I’ve never met but I chat to now and again online. A few weeks before I was to go to Reykjavík to start shooting for Elska Issue (03) he messaged me with a link to Sveinn S’s FB profile and a message saying – “You need to shoot this guy in Iceland! Pure Icelandic look hah!” As it turned out, by a coincidence that’s pretty typical by Icelandic standards (it’s a small country), we’d already arranged to shoot him.
Sveinn S was the first guy I shot in Iceland. We met over at a Shell petrol station and then I followed him into Öskjuhlíð, a former WWII army base below the Perlan restaurant-observatory. As we walked he explained what this place was and how his British great grandfather fought to protect Iceland in the war. So this most “pure Icelandic” guy isn’t so pure after all. The most Icelandic looking of Icelanders is ‘tainted’ with British blood!
Shooting at Öskjuhlíð was Sveinn’s suggestion, and in the story he writes for Issue (03), he explains what the place means to him, to his father, grandfather and so on. Like so many people here, he is utterly connected to the landscape. And I suppose that’s what makes him so Icelandic.
To read Sveinn’s story and see the his full pictoral, grab your copy of Elska. See www.elskamagazine.com for a list of stockists or order online.