(This Is What An Icelander Looks Like… with FRIÐRIK Á from Reykjavík)
For the Reykjavík shoots, my assistant Andriy was in charge of finding the lads to be featured in the issue. Before meeting Friðrik, I’d only had a chat online and seen one profile pic. He seemed to have darker hair and complexion than most Icelanders I’d met, but with that very Icelandic letter ´ð´ (pronounced like the ‘th’ in ‘weather’ or ‘father’) in his name, I didn’t think he was anything but Icelandic.
Having spent most of my life in a very multi-cultural place – London – where colour says nothing about your nationality, I took this same attitude to Iceland. Of course, although Reykjavík is much more multicultural than most people expect, it’s no London. Walking the streets in the city centre of the capital, you see a lot of races, but most of them are probably tourists. When you get out into the suburbs and villages, however, it all gets pretty white and blond.
So when I met Friðrik in the flesh, I was dying to know his origin story. Yet it seemed so politically incorrect to straight out ask ‘why do you look like that?!’ He could have been an immigrant, I suppose, but when I heard him take a phone call, his Icelandic accent was so perfect that I was sure he was born in Iceland. And then when I read the story he wrote for the issue, his massively emotional relationship with nature made him seem Icelandic right to the core. I didn’t know why he had these sort of Middle Eastern / Indian looks, but whatever, I thought, this is what an Icelander looks like.
Eventually, however, I had to find out more, so we did a little interview that’s published in Friðrik Á’s very own dedicated issue of Elska Ekstra. He does indeed have ethnic roots in Asia, but his heart is truly in Iceland.
See more of Friðrik and read his story in Elska Magazine issue (03) Reykjavík