Photographer Knut Egil Wang documents the annual migration of Norwegians to sunnier destinations, as they look to escape the darkness and cold of Norwegian winter. Wang captures the strangeness and bliss that comes with transplanting oneself for a few months each year in a series titled “Southbound” or “Syden.”
“Syden” is a Norwegian term used to describe warm vacation destinations, which Wang notes are mostly in southern Europe, but can be elsewhere. Although “Syden” destinations are found across Europe, the photographer describes their overwhelming similarities; “sunbeds, beaches, pools, cheap stores, inexpensive alcohol, and all kinds of amusements…” adding, “The main attraction is not the local culture-it is the warmer climate.” While some stay in Syden for weeks or even months, others have simply relocated altogether.
What is particularly interesting about this series is the fact that the concept of sun and escape from winter is more central to the experience of yearly travel than the locations traveled to. This is embodied in the term “Syden” as Syden is not tied to a location, but an idea.
You can see the series in its entirety here.
Images courtesy of Knut Egil Wang/MOMENT/INSTITUTE, used with permission.