ISLAND blues

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In the book ‘ISLAND blues, surviving at 60° north latitude’, photographer Nicole Franken and journalist Anneke de Bundel travel through six northern island communities on Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, Norway, Estonia and Faroe Islands.


They cherish desolation, seek solitude or live forever in that deserted bay. They are not unworldly to the world, they do not turn away from humanity, but they do benefit from a quiet existence. ‘ISLAND blues, surviving at 60° north latitude‘ offers a fascinating series of portraits of islanders in their area at 60° north latitude.

These islands are of dizzying beauty, still have a traditional culture, but also face emptying and hopelessness. This book is a wonderful ode to that paradoxical world. For everyone who loves travelling, photography and people.

In ‘ISLAND blues’, photographer Nicole Franken and journalist Anneke de Bundel visit six island communities in Northern Europe. In Ittoqqortoormiit they see how the chances for an education are tearing up an Inuit community. In Langanes a mother has to drive further and further for the school for her child. And on the religious Harris there is no longer a marriage candidate in stock.

But luck is also there, such as on Røvær in Norway, where a tragedy has been creating solidarity for decades, and in Kalsoy the scarce possession of young Jóhannus is an inexhaustible wealth. The book is a special journey through this paradoxical world. Stories from six northern island communities on Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, Norway, Estonia and Faroe Islands.

“Skies and horizon as far as the eye can see, water, clouds, wind, freedom and its own rules, are hidden from the eye of the mainland. Photographer Nicole Franken captures the special stories of islanders in need in special, committed, honest and striking images that capture the wide view as well as the isolation, and that drip with atmosphere and love for the islands and their inhabitants.” – Barbera Bosmamanaging editor National Geographic Traveler

“ISLAND blues makes a connection between the different, but sometime, the same lives on islands in Northern Europe. The photos show the beautiful side of life on the islands, freedom and also “the savage”, but especially that the idyllic idea of ​​”living on an island” is not always true. Because island life is often hard and especially nowadays it is no longer self-evident. Nicole Franken does not shy away from getting close and you feel the connection with the subject as a viewer. A must for anyone with a preference for photography, travel and people!” – Ilvy Njiokiktjien, documentary photographer, winner of Silver Camera and two awards at World Press Photo 

And the preface? Written by Dorian van Rijsselberghe, two-time Olympic world champion windsurfing, who grew up on the Dutch island Texel.

Additional information


Nicole Franken and Anneke de Bundel


KNNV Uitgeverij





Publication date

November 2019


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