Olderdalen, located in the county of Troms, 70km from Tromso in northern Norway, listing a mere 322 inhabitants in 2017, was where I had the opportunity to experience my first polar night experience— more than 24 hours of darkness. This experience took place simultaneously with an immersion into the philosophy of permaculture as well as into Norwegian culture and history.
In the polar circles, light disappears and makes way for the Queen of Darkness in Winter. But the Queen does not arrive alone; she is accompanied by her nymphs Dawn and Dusk, sharing a pale spectacle of deep blue, yellow and pink for three and a half hours. These brief hours of poetry awaken the heart and the body just enough before the mind is lullabied back to rest with the return of dense darkness. The lack of light has its effect in spite of one’s efforts to resist it, and without being fully awake, melancholy lifts one through these interminable nights and rocks the atmosphere back to its frozen sleep.
These photographs illustrate my stay as both sunless and comforting; through the lens of a particular melancholy we discover the dense calm of an isolated region of northern Norway, and a fragment of the quotidian life of one of its inhabitants.