Narvik Portraits: School Visits & Radio Towers

Hi everyone! I am currently writing from Tromsø, where I have finally reunited with my friend Tor Edvin, who I haven’t seen in three years! As the Tromsø International Film Festival is in full swing, and Tor Edvin is a filmmaker, things have been busy. Time to wrap up the last couple things that happened in Narvik before I took the bus up here.

On Friday, I dropped by Solhaugen, the high school that I attended as an exchange student five years ago. Unlike the American high school system, Norwegian high school students are allowed to pick a topic to “major” in in, if they are so inclined. Otherwise, they can take general studies courses. When I went to school at Solhaugen, my major was “Medier og kommunikasjon”, meaning I spent most of my time working with photography, film, graphic design, advertising, animation, journalism, exhibition design, etc. Suddenly, my current experiences at RISD seemed to be a pretty good lecture topic for high school students going through the same program that I did for one year. My Norwegian teacher Grethe (think… like how we would have English classes in the US. Writing and stuff) asked me to come in and give presentations to both the 1st year and 3rd year classes, so in I came, with my Hasselblad and prints and books I’ve made recently. I’m still pretty impressed how attentive, polite and genuinely enthused the kids were in both of the classes. I had a great time.

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Me and Grethe.

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Showing people what I do at RISD.

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Jump over the weekend to Monday – I got up at the crack of dawn (meaning, actually, like five hours before dawn) and trekked down the forested hillside in the snow to Narvik’s tiny airport where Richard, an air traffic controller, had invited me to come take some pictures. I got to go hang out in the tower and watch a plane land, pick up passengers, and then depart again for Bodø, as well as hear some pretty fascinating stories from Richard’s life. It was awesome to start the day so early and so productively.

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On the way back up the hill to my house, I had a very close encounter with a beautiful red fox, which was really cool and totally unexpected. I lived on that hilltop for a year and never saw any wildlife. From there, I went pretty much straight to Fremover, the newspaper that I worked for a few years ago, and had lunch with Ann-Kristin, the journalist that wrote that article about me. Since my project was by this point fully underway, she asked me some more questions and accompanied me on a photoshoot with a girl named Birgitte after lunch. I haven’t gotten those photos onto my computer yet, but you can see the fantastic article that was printed in the newspaper the next day!

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