I’m Maria Olsen, physician born and raised in Gothenburgh, Sweden. I did a basic photographic course in Gotland before I continued at ICP (International Center of Photography) in New York. This photojournalistic program included internship at Magnum Photos along with in-depth exploration of all aspects of photography, from theory and contemporary issues to technical training along with inspiring workshops with photographers such as Nan Goldin and Mary Ellen Mark.
I have worked extensively with community-related projects, which has resulted in several exhibitions expressing my commitment to images that engage social and humanitarian issues. These photographs portray e.g. victimized children, refugees, and homeless people to whom I managed to get close in very difficult situations.
The projects feature homeless people in New York, handicapped children in Gaza, Palestine, and the Bosnian war including a photo essay on orphans and their daily struggle to go to school in spite of war.
Exhibitions documenting homeless people have been held at various galleries and fairs such as The Alternative Museum on Broadway, New York, the Ledels Gallery in Soho, New York and the Göteborg International Photography Fair.
In the mid 1990s, the Art Academies and several other Swedish universities sponsored a travel exhibition of my images from Bosnia, with the Bosnian war and its impact on social and economic life in Sarajevo as main subject matter.
My first book, “Images of Fishermen: the North Atlantic” (www.IMAGESofFISHERMEN.com) published 2006, is a tribute to those who fish for a living and bring seafood to the world. The book offers a unique, inside view of Faroe, Shetland, Iceland, and Greenland fisheries.
A travelling photo exhibition is now taking place in result of the book. Successfully launched at the National Maritime Museum in Stockholm in 2008, the exhibition continued to Nordatlantens Brygge in Copenhagen and Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseet in Esbjerg 2009, followed by Víkin — Sjóminjasafnið, Reykjavík, in 2010. Most recently, the exhibition was held in Greenland, at the Katuaq — Grønlands Kulturhus. The prestigious Nordic Culture Fund is one of the main sponsors of the exhibition.
Exhibitions at Museums, Galleries, Institutions
Nordic House in the Faroe Islands “Fotoframsýningina Havsfiske”
Katuaq Greenland Cultural Center “Imaannarmi aalisarneq – atlantikup avannarpasissuani Imaneq 21 angalanerit arfinillit (Havfiskeri – 6 ture i Nordatlanten)”
Víkin — Sjóminjasafnið “Sjómennska í Norðurhöfum — sex túrar á skipum frá Íslandi, Reykjavik, Iceland Færeyjum, Grænlandi og Hjaltlandseyjum”
Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseet “Havfiskeri — Seks ture på Nordatlanten”
Nordatlantens Brygge “Havfiskeri — Seks ture på Nordatlanten”
National Maritime Museum “Havsfiskeri Sex turer på Nordatlanten”
Photo Alternative International Portraits of Faroese Artists
Iris Imaging / Art Net International (gumbichromate print)
The Footstool Gallery, Portraits of Faroese Artists
International Photo (gumbichromate print)
Alternative 4th Exhibition
Iris Imaging / Art Net International
St. Johns Smith Square,
Gothenburgh University “The Siege of Sarajevo”
Umeå Art Academy, Stockholm “Portraits of Bosnian Artists and Other Civilians in Sarajevo” Linköping University, Linköping
Travel exhibition, Sweden
Gothenburgh Univeristy “The Global Women Movement”
UN’s 50th year anniversary
The Alternative Museum “National Showcase Exhibition”
Benefit portfolio 1993
New York, NY
Ledel Gallery, “Around Tompkins Square Park”
168 Mercer Street, Soho
New York, NY
Mosaic Books “Fulcrum”
Avenue B, 10th and 11th st.
New York, NY
Gothenburghs Photographic Fair “Portraits of Homeless People”