Keywords: Ritual, Community, Culture
The sea, with its unpredictable nature holds a touch of fear for many. It carries the ability to bring people together. As someone who grew up in a Nordic landscape, I had to form a bond with the cold wind in order to survive harsh winters. This upbringing sparked my curiosity about the people who willingly and fiercely befriend cold seawater. They gather as a shield, forming a circle of protection. Lost in the currents of the moment, they enter a state of flow, where time and danger dissolve. In this unity, their bodies of water become one with the sea. Time slips away, much like the grasp of winter, for they only have 2 minutes of time to dip into the sea. In that sense the cold forms a community of sea swimmers.
“Hlýja Kuldans (Warmth of the Cold)” is an ode to all women who gather to confront their fears, united against a force seemingly greater than themselves. It speaks to nature’s incredible power to create a sense of purpose—belonging, facilitated by the sea. Through photography and moving images, it is a journey towards lower grounds, where the cold becomes warmth, and where a collective bond transcends the boundaries of fear.