Lately, I came across an article that has been published by Daily Mail Online. Mostly pictures and captions, headline: „Photographer captures the VERY isolated lives of people living on the Faroe Islands“. As for me, an opportunity to raise an issue I have constantly been thinking about. Related to Faroe Islands: How remote is remote?
Although the Faroe Islands are located in the middle of the North Atlantic, there are air and ferry connections all the year round. Tórshavn offers schools, a university, a hospital, daycare centers, retirement homes, sports grounds, hotels, shops and restaurants. One of the smallest capitals of the world. Unique? For sure. But remote?
Tórshavn municipality has a population of about 20.600 – which equates to more than 40% of the total population of the Faroe Islands. The second largest municipality is Klaksvík with around 4.900 citizens. Klaksvík is the secret capital at the North and the biggest fishing community in the Faroes.
Nowadays, close to 90 % of the population of the Faroe Islands is connected by roads, bridges and subsea tunnels. Nevertheless, it is stupendously easy to find places that make you feel like being the last person left on planet earth. That’s the distinctive quality of the Faroe Islands. Solitude. Vastness. That’s what casts a spell on visitors. And that is exactly what documentary and portrait photographer Kevin Faingnaert, who’s work got published by Daily Mail, was looking for.
One of the spots he visited is Elduvík, the village I call my second home. For me, eight hours of driving through Germany and Denmark, 35 hours travelling by ferry and another 45 minutes car drive is all it takes to get to paradise. Without a car in our village, I am trapped. That's why I – most of the time – don't take the plane from Copenhagen to Faroe Islands.
The road to Elduvík has been built in the late 1970s. Before that, villagers had to walk a path along steep cliffs in order to get to the next village Oyndarfjørður, and carry heavy goods with boats. Remote? Always a matter of opinion.
People attending the Ólavsøka-celebrations in Tórshavn. The picture at the top, I took at Viðareiði, the northernmost settlement of the Faroe Islands. In sight: part of the outer islands. They are only accessible by helicopter or boat.
Kevin Faingnaert’s project „Føroyar“: www.kevinfaingnaert.com