Terje Abusdal, a participant in the second round of The Norwegian Journal of Photography, has been awarded the prestigious Leica Oskar Barnack Award for 2017.

Over the past year, the photographer has focused on the people in the Finnskog region, exploring questions of identity and affinity.  Finnskog comprises a vast contiguous forest that extends along both sides of the border between Solør in Norway and Värmland in Sweden. The area is named after the Finnish immigrants, the so-called ‘Forest Finns’, who settled there in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The culture of the Forest Finns as it was 400 years ago no longer exists, at the same time as a growing number of people feel an affinity to it. Abusdal’s Slash and Burn project addresses the fact that the culture is gone, and examines what being a Forest Finn means today.

The Leica Oskar Barnack Award was previously awarded to Eugenia Arbugaeva and Frank Hallam Day, among others, and it carries with it a monetary award of EUR 25 000.

Photo: Terje Abusdal