21 February 2022

The Swedish Landscape of Stalo´s Anger

21 February 2022 - Written by PhMuseum

In his work ´Stalo´, Theo Elias guides us on a narrative journey through a silent frozen landscape leading to the beginning of a long road to the border 

On the side of the road, by the common ground west of the village, lies a big stone. To see it, you need to know it, since it’s covered by trees and bushes. The stone is taller than a man, and it is divided into two parts by a big crack. In the crack lies the skeleton of a reindeer who has fallen down, gotten stuck and died many years ago.

If you continue west on the road towards the border, there is a steep ridge with a clearing. On the slope you will see black stumps sticking up from the snow. The only trees left are a sparse row of crooked pine trees on the top. Further down, after the turn, you will suddenly see the big mountains rising up on your right. So steep they seem brutally cut off. The slopes go down to the river on your left, where black stones have been frozen into the thick ice. Some say it was Stalo, who in anger threw them, and this is where they landed.

The low sun barely makes it up over the mountains and its light never touches the frozen river before it sets. It will be quiet, except for the sound from the wind and the car fighting the cold. This is the start of the road to the border. Check the gasoline, there won’t be any gas stations for many miles. The journey is long and the dark comes quickly. But if you are lucky, you will see the Northern Lights.

Words and Images by Theo Elias


Theo Elias is a Swedish artist and photographer. His work contains a strong autobiographical dimension, it is often long term and stretches over several years. He mainly works with photo books and publications, but has also exhibited internationally. He was the 2019 winner of Photo London & La Fabrica Dummy Award, and was nominated for both the Lucie Foundation Photo Book Award and the Swedish Photo Book Award. Follow him on Instagram and PhMuseum.


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PhMuseum curators.

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Reading time

3 minutes