GEORGIA. Abkhazia. Sukhum. 2005. Although Abkhazia is isolated, half-abandoned and still suffering war wounds due to its unrecognized status, both locals and Russian tourists are drawn to the warm waters of the Black Sea. This unrecognized country, on a lush stretch of Black Sea coast, won its independence from the former Soviet republic of Georgia after a fierce war in 1993.
Norwegian, b. 1977
When I was 19, I got a one-year internship at Magnum Photos’ London office. I made coffee and tea, ran to the post office, answered the phones and returned prints and slides to their right places in the archive. A year spent working in the presence of that iconic archive was the best education I could have asked for.
After I finished my internship there, I left for Russia to try to become a photographer myself. I fell madly in love with the former USSR and ended up spending several years there. The time I spent there resulted in my first book, “Satellites – Photographs from the Fringes of the former Soviet Union”, which came out in 2006.
Somehow I’ve always been fascinated by enclaves and people living in isolated communities. While “Satellites” looked at separatist republics in the former USSR, in 2005 I started another project about a different type of enclave – the urban slum. “The Places We Live” became a three-year journey through four slum communities around the world, and in 2008 it became a book and exhibition featuring projections and voice recordings in a three-dimensional installation.
I’ve always been fascinated by faith and religion, and its place in society. In September 2017 my most recent book, The Last Testament, about people who claim to be the Second Coming of Christ was published.
I’ve enjoyed working with a diverse group of clients, of all sizes and shapes. Some of my clients have been GEO magazine, Newsweek, the Sunday Times Magazine, The Rockefeller Foundation, Goldman Sachs, and many others. Since 2004 I have had the pleasure of working with National Geographic Magazine on many stories.
I joined Magnum Photos in 2004.
Today I live near Oslo, Norway with my wife and three children.