/26 Habitare

Kevin Faingnaert

Føroyar

Føroyar is my latest series about life in remote and sparsely populated villages on the Faroe Islands, an archipelago in the middle of the North Atlantic, halfway between Scotland and Iceland.
I immersed myself within the community, I couch-surfed and hitch-hiked my way across the islands, finding doors opening to me everywhere I went. Here, across swathes of snow-veiled landscapes and bordered by dramatic coastline, villages are slowly dropping into decline as more and more of their inhabitants are emigrating from the island in pursuit of greater opportunities. In a lot of villages half of the houses stand empty. Young Faroese people move abroad – mainly to Denmark, to travel or to pursue a higher education, but mostly don’t return to their hometown afterwards.
Though at times lonely and perpetually freezing, I learned to appreciate the small, simple comforts of life – listening to stories told in the welcoming warmth of Faroese homes, the sound of songs against the roaring backdrop of the sea, and my memorable encounter with a message-in-a-bottle collector on the beach.
In these clear and pristine landscapes, where villages with populations as low as ten huddle together on the edge of cliffs, I reveal a community hanging on firmly to their roots and coloured houses, while underlining that one day these villages must inevitably disappear.