What is it like to live in one of the most remote and untouched corners of the world? Photographer Pieter Van Hooydonck told us the story of Bjøn and Lukka and documented their solitude lives in one of the Faroe Islands, also known as the edge of the world, in a great photo series.
Bjørn and Lukka have been living in Koltur, one of the eighteen Faroe Islands, for twenty years. They are the only residents of this 2.5 km² island along with their 60 sheep.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the 3.9 km long island was home to about fifty people. But as the ogling fishing industry continued to grow and promised a better life, many farming families started to leave to the main island. In 1994, the last resident left the island for good. This small settlement, which was home to the early Faroe culture, was about to disappear forever. The Faroese government decided to take action and started looking for people to re-inhabit the island. They wanted someone who could take charge as a mayor and restore the houses as they were.
After hearing about the news, Bjørn and Lukka, an accountant and a hairdresser respectively, did not hesitate for long. In 1997, they left their home to try out this new life. They thought they’d do it for one year, but after the trial period had come to an end, they decided to keep adding one more year until today.
Bjørn is now mayor, electrician, farmer, fisherman, cattle farmer, woodworker, accountant,… of the island. If something breaks, Bjørn has to fix it. It’s not possible to quickly get a professional to the island and back. The main transport available is a helicopter that flies a loop around the islands about four times a week. You can also move between the islands by boat, but you have to be lucky with the weather and the currents.
Photographer Pieter Van Hooydonck visted Bjøn and Lukka and documented this series in 2017.
Pieter Van Hooydonck is a professional photographer based in Kalmthout, Belgium. While you can find him photographing corporate events, commercial projects, and weddings, he’s also passionate about documentary photography.
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