The Brothers

Elin Høyland
Dewi Lewis Publishing

Norwegian photographer Elin Høyland has captured a moment in time. Fascinated by two brothers, Harald and Mathias Ramen living in rural Norway, she photographed them, documenting a way of life that is all but on the brink of extinction.

Harald and Mathias (75 and 80 years old respectively) had always lived on the small farm in which they were born. Rarely venturing out, only once to Oslo and another time to Lillehammer, the brothers lived solitary lives, even saying once that “TV took up too much time.” They filled their days by chopping wood and feeding the birds. Høyland has captured and documented a spectrum of emotions through this collection, and as Gerry Badger notes in his introduction, much like Anders Petersen and JH Engström’s project From Back Home (2009) there is a concentration on rural Sweden, but a wider commentary about disappearance of rural life.

This book requires time; the images are emotive, and Harald and Mathias’ story is moving. Høyland shot with sensitivity and realism – you’ll return to this book, and the narrative will grip you.

Cherie Federico