C/O Theo Elias | SMOKE | Edición La Fábrica

In 2010 an Icelandic volcano erupted. This led to a total standstill in flight traffic over Europe for weeks. The same year, I applied to photography school and didn’t get in. Later the same year, Iceland almost went bankrupted in the aftermath of the economic crisis. About the same time as all of this happened, I got fired from my dayjob. I had a feeling that all the chaos in my life was corresponding on what was happening on this far remote island, so I decided to go there. I brought one camera (which I accidentally smashed to the floor on the second day) and many rolls of film. I stayed for 4 weeks alone.
The following years I kept coming back, sharing cigarettes with strangers outside closed bars. Taking portraits of people that I met. With the finding of a new context I formed a new identity. Over the years the project Smoke slowly got shaped. It became a story about coming to age in the meeting with others and a remarkable landscape. How I came to know Julie and how failing to climb a mountain became one of my greatest achievements.

Smoke was 2019 the winner of the Photo London & La Fabrica Dummy Award, and was published the same year as a book by La Fabrica.

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