ROSES GREW ON SNOW
My parents in law, Gústaf and Ásta, settled in the Icelandic village of Laugarás in 1968 to continue on the tradition of their parents in growing flowers in greenhouses. Ásta's father was the first one to move in the area and establish the village of Laugarás where three generations of Sælands lived till now.
Nevertheless, the Icelandic bank crash in 2008 with the ensuing shift of Icelandic economy towards globalisation ensured a fast, and uncontrolled financial growth but condemned smaller Icelandic businesses to extinction. A collapsing local economy brought about a swift change in Icelandic life that is reflected in the story of the Sælands. For 52 years Gústaf and Ásta persisted with the family business but this is not attainable any more due to debts that have been amassed caused by the new economical status quo. They will have to give up their property and move out of the area.
Although I am not documenting my own roots, the history of Laugarás is reminiscent of what happened to rural Greece and the fleeing of my own parents from the greek countryside to Athens in search of a better life, back in the 60s. Through these photos I am trying subconsciously to reconstruct a piece of my own missing history and to preserve the history of Laugarás in images. And in the process, I was offered the opportunity to understand and connect better to my husband's heritage.
Through photographing the last steps of the Sælands in Laugarás, I want to create a small arc of Icelandic tradition by using new and archival photography. An arc that speaks of history, identity and the bond and relationship between man and the land he inhabits.
© VASSILIS TRIANTIS 2016-2020