Lofoten Islands, Norway

Marilyn Stern

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The Dark Time
I first visited the the Arctic islands of Lofoten at age 12 in the mid 1960s. I returned in the winter of 1984 to experience and photograph "the dark time." My photographs and text from this project were first published in MD Magazine.
The Whalers of Lofoten

During my winter stay in Lofoten, I became acquainted with some whaling families on the island of Skrova, Norway's whaling center. I returned to live on Skrova in the summers of '86 and '87, with support from the American-Scandinavian Foundation and the Norwegian Consulate. Twice I went to sea on the whale hunt -- the only woman in recent memory to do so.

Often I asked myself, "What's a nice vegetarian environmentalist like me doing on a whaleboat like this?" It was the toughest assignment I could have chosen. But it looked as if whaling was about to end. I felt compelled to record for posterity this important part of Norwegian history and culture.

All together, I spent nine months living in Lofoten, photographing the fishermen and whale hunters, their families and community, and the stark transcendant beauty of the Lofoten Islands. I also recorded over 30 hours of interviews.

My photography and writing from this project were published in 1990 as the book Kval! Die Walfänger der Lofoten (Whale! The Whale Hunters of Lofoten). See below for details and links.

My photographs were also published in Geo (Germany), The World & I (USA), Photo District News (USA), Norway Times (USA), and Lofotposten (Norway)., and they were exhibited at Scandinavia House in New York City.


Kval! Die Walfänger der Lofoten (Whale! The Whale Hunters of Lofoten, U. Bär Verlag, Zurich 1990). Photos & text by Marilyn Stern


    This book is out of priint. A limited number of books are available for sale
    Read excerpt in The World & I magazine
Click on cover to open book
  Scandinavia House, NYC
An Exhibition for Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway
Solo exhibit of photography by Marilyn Stern
October 2002 January 25, 2003
Angles on Scandinavia: The Work of ASF Fellows
Exhibition of photography by Marilyn Stern, Lauren Piperno, and Ann Rhoney
January 31 - June 28, 2003

ALL IMAGES Marilyn Stern 200

Reproducing or distributing any of these photos digitally, online, in print, or in any other media is strictly prohibited without written permission.
Email mstern@sternphoto.com