Grindadràp - PhMuseum

Grindadràp

Alice Jankovic

2019

Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands August 2019, I was in the capital in Tòrshavn, for a workaway project, I lived with a local family, I worked for them and in return they made me discover and enter their culture.

On August 27, I was accompanied by the father of the family to attend a traditional event very tied to their culture, namely the Grindadràp, in the bay of Vestmanna, a small town of about 1200 inhabitants on the island of Streymoy.

Only when I got to the great bay did I realize what it really was, about 100 pilot whales had been killed.

I tried to live this experience with a very open and non-judgmental mentality in order to understand the true motivations of this tradition which to our eyes may seem unfair and cruel.

The Faroese have historically relied on whale meat as a primary resource since ancient times as it is highly isolated due to the harsh conditions of the islands not very suitable for agriculture.

It must be said that this hunt is not commercial, the meat is stored and distributed within the community for free.

I wanted to document not the moment of the hunt but what happens immediately after, taking into account the anthropological aspect far from the sensationalistic and the denunciation aspect that usually documents these sagas, I tried to remain impartial despite the strong moral and psychic reproach I felt faced with these rites, the mentality and customs of the population come together in this primordial hunt for emotional attachment to cultural heritage.

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