Interview with Vár Berghamar Jacobsen

Maria, you are a photojournalist and you have been on board Faroese, Scottish, Icelandic and Greenlandic trawlers, gill-netters and longliners. How did you get the idea of going out with these fishing boats to photograph fishermen’s work?

I think one major reason has to do with the fact that only very little documentation seems to be available when it comes to life at sea and commercial fishing and its impact on the daily life for so many people. I didn’t now much myself in the beginning but after a while I started to understand more and discovered how unique this topic really is.

What also strikes me is that in big cities, it seems many people don’t know much about how fish are caught and brought to market. However, I soon came to the conclusion that it’s about time to shed some more light on the value of fishing and the work that fishermen do. This work took approximately two years, counting everything — from shooting two days to two weeks on the boats to editing the photos afterwards.

AUDIO: Click here to hear interview with Vár Berghamar Jacobsen, UF (Faroese radio)…

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Latest issue of FNI


Latest issue of Fishing News International: “A husband and wife team based in Aberdeen, on Scotland’s west coast, have some unique perspectives on the fishing industry. Faroese-born Bui Tyril is a writer and former journalist who grew up around fisheries and has looked in detail at the way the fishing industry is portrayed. Maria Olsen, who hails from Sweden, is an acclaimed photographer at home on the deck of a longliner as at the end of a fashion show catwalk. Her book ‘Images of Fishermen’ took her to sea on a variety of Faroese,Icelandic, Scottish and Greenlandic fishing vessels to collect an array of striking images that are also the subject of a successful travelling exhibition. Together they run the media company OpenEye.biz, based between the Faroes and Aberdeen, concentrating on PR and publishing with a strong slant towards the fishing industry.”

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Tórshavn’s Nordic House successfully hosted final show

The period of middle of March to April 2011 the exhibition “Ocean Fishing — Six Trips on the North Atlantic” was held at the Nordic House in the Faroe Islands. Thereby this traveling exhibition has reached its final destination after having started off in the summer of 2008 in Stockholm, before going to Copenhagen and Esbjerg in 2009, and to Reykjavík and Nuuk in 2010. The Nordic House is a marvelous piece of architecture and the photos were placed very nicely with daylight coming through the outer glass walls of the building.

SLIDE SHOW: Click here to view photos…

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Video: Preparing exhibition ‘Ocean Fishing in the North Atlantic’

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Greenland museum director welcomes exhibition guests

Julia Pars, Director of the Katuaq Greenland Cultural Centre, opened the photo exhibition ‘Ocean Fishing — Six Trips on the North Atlantic’ on 14th October 2010.

“It’s a great pleasure for me to welcome you to the opening of this exhibition,” she told a gathering of exhibition guests in Nuuk, Greenland.

Following a brief presentation of the book ‘Images of Fishermen: The North Atlantic,’ the photographic content of which has inspired and provided the basis for the traveling exhibition, Ms. Pars added: “I hope you’ll enjoy the exhibition which describes the variety of fisheries in the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Scotland, and Greenland.”

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Photo exhibition opens at Katuaq Greenland Cultural Centre

I’m proud to announce that tomorrow, 14 October, the traveling exhibition ‘Ocean Fishing — Six Trips on the North Atlantic’ will open at Katuaq Greenland Cultural Centre. I have great memories of my trip to Greenland in 2006 when I went on board the trawler Nanoq Trawl, which is owned by Polar Seafood, to document shrimping off the coast of Greenland.

Cold water shrimp live on soft bottoms at depths mostly from 150 to 500 m, at temperatures around one centigrade. Their development and growth is relatively slow; change from male to female only takes place after the age of 4 or 5. The world‘s largest retailer of cold water shrimp is Royal Greenland, owned by Greenland’s Government. Shrimp account for over fifty percent of Greenland‘s exports with halibut, crab and cod making up the rest.

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It’s now the Icelandic capital’s turn

It’s now the Icelandic capital’s turn to host the exhibition “Sjómennska í Norðurhöfum — sex túrar á skipum frá Íslandi, Færeyjum, Grænlandi og Hjaltlandseyjum” (At Sea in the Northern Oceans — Six Trips on Fishing Vessels from Iceland, Faroe, Greenland, and Shetland). The combination of choosing the Seamen’s Day, the 5th of June, for the official opening proved very successful.

SLIDE SHOW: Click here to view photos…

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Three-month photo exhibition in Esbjerg

Photographer Maria Olsen

Fiskeri­ og Søfartsmuseet in Esbjerg had a successful three-month photo exhibition from November 2009 though January 2010 under the heading ‘Ocean Fishing — Six Trips on the North Atlantic’ featuring about 30 photos from my book ‘Images of Fishermen: the North Atlantic’. The exhibition kicked off at the National Maritime Museum in Stockholm 2008, continued to the Nordatlantens Brygge in Copenhagen last year, and will later be taken to Tórshavn and Reykjavik, backed by the prestigious Nordic Culture Fund as one of the main sponsors of the event.

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“Maria’s photos give a nostalgic kick in my heart”

“Maria’s photos give a nostalgic kick in my heart and provoke a longing for my good old days on the seven seas,” the Faroese member of parliament Mr. Tórbjörn Jacobsen said in his opening speech for the exhibition “Havfiske – seks ture på Nordatlanten” (Ocean Fishing – Six Trips on the North Atlantic) at the Nordatlantens Brygge in Copenhagen.

The 22 May opening was attended by mostly Danish and Faroese visitors, including Mr. Herálvur Joensen and Mr. Árni Olafsson of the Representation Office of the Faroes in Copenhagen, Mr. Ásmundur Guðjónsson of the Nordic Council in Copenhagen, and Nanna Hermansson, of the Swedish Faroese Society.

SLIDE SHOW: Click here to view photos…

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Photo exhibition in Copenhagen

On the occasion of the release of my book “IMAGES OF FISHERMEN: The North Atlantic”, a traveling photo exhibition is set to be open at Nordatlantens Brygge in Copenhagen next week. The exhibition kicked off successfully at the National Maritime Museum in Stockholm last year and will later be taken to Esbjerg, Reykjavík, Tórshavn and Nuuk, backed by the prestigious Nordic Culture Fund as one of the main sponsors of the event. You are all warmly welcome to the reception opening between 4 – 6 PM, the 22nd of May.

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