Sebastien Van Malleghem’s forthcoming book, ‘Nordic Noir’ is the result of a five-year odyssey traveling through Scandinavia. Van Malleghem’s work has always examined the darker edges of life. He has photographed the war-torn streets of Libya, plummeted into the seedy underbelly of Berlin and examined the world of embalmers and morgues in Mexico, just to name a few of his projects. But in 2012, on the heels of returning from a post-Gaddafi Libya, Van Malleghem found himself on an island in Norway, trying to get away from that darkness and find a simpler form of photography. Thus began his obsessive love affair with Scandinavia which is culminating in the publication of his book.
In compiling the work for “Nordic Noir,” Van Malleghem first ventured to Iceland. With its vast, empty space, Iceland seemed to be the exact opposite of the dark worlds he had been exploring in his earlier work. At first he was unsure if he would be able to make photographs there, but eventually he found a way, saying:
“I did breathe and relax probably for the first time in my life, taking pictures that moved me without thinking. I discovered more precisely why and what I love to photograph. The bitterness of moments, humans living, the strong rain and wind, emotions, night, religion, death, water, nature, friends, unknowns, silhouettes.”
Over a span of five years, Van Malleghem continued the personal journey he began in Iceland, but expanded to more countries, including Denmark, Lapland and Sweden. Through all of these trips, Malleghem has compiled a very personal story, one where he has confronted his own demons, and one that has been a kind of refuge for him.
Go here to find out more about “Nordic Noir.”
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