Marsibil lives alone on a farm which serves as a weather station in the Icelandic fjords. The nearest village is an hour’s drive away and has a population of eight, while the nearest city is two hours away. Reaching the farm by land is impossible during the winter, when it can only be accessed via boat when the weather allows. Life on the farm, on which Marsibil lives together with a dozen dogs, a herd of sheep, a few horses and several other animals, is demanding, especially during the dark winter months when temperatures drop below 10 degrees Celsius. Even during the fiercest snow storms, however, Marsibil steps outside every three hours to collect meteorological data. She knows that sailors rely on this information, and that if it doesn’t reach Reykjavík, people’s lives could be at stake.
Having completed her photography studies in the industrial city of Dortmund, Germany, Marzena Skubatz longed to flee the urban life and return to nature. In 2012 she contacted Marsibil, whom she’s heard of by chance, and came to live with her on the farm. She remained there for a year, and until 2019 returned annually to spend several months there. The two women thus lived side by side, cut off from the world and in harmony with nature. The heart of this photographic story is Marsibil herself – a strong, independent woman who lives amidst powerful natural forces and faces the harsh winters of one of Iceland’s most remote and isolated areas. At the same time, it is also about the brave link between these two women, the magic of the wild and the winter, and the way each of us defines our home.
In collaboration with the Goethe Institute
Ya’ara Raz Haklai