This is a project about growing up on a small, windswept island off the west coast of Norway. Once desperate to distance myself from the place where I was born and raised, I now regularly return, trying to look at it with fresh eyes. Maybe I’ll never know who I really am. But this is definitely where I’m from.
It’s a crisp Autumn day and I am waiting for the school bus together with the neighbours’ girl, who is one year older than me. I say good morning but get no reply. She hasn’t talked to me for over a week, and I don’t know why. My mother says it’s not my fault, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I am ten years old, I have top grades and a bottle-fed lamb called Monica, but no friends. I am the oldest of seven siblings, my dad is at sea and my mother is at home with lumbago. We don’t have a TV.
This is an ongoing documentary project about growing up in a small community, in a deeply religious but loving family, on a windswept island off the west coast of Norway. It’s a story about a girl eventually moving further and further away from her family, desperate to distance herself from the place where she was born and raised. But more than anything, it’s a personal journey of coming back, after years of therapy and of living abroad, trying to look at the place with fresh eyes — without repressing the bad memories. This is my attempt at embracing the inevitable fact that some things will forever be connected.
Maybe I’ll never know who I really am. But this is definitely where I’m from.
In collaboration with The Royal Norwegian Embassy