The lagoon is not pink

Explore the aseptic landscapes of Iceland in “The Lagoon is Not Pink,” a journey of isolation and discovery. Written by Luca Arena, a color-blind traveler and photographer.

We’re still learning about the white noise of melting ice in a lagoon that is not pink.
The lagoon is not pink is a journey in Iceland covering just over 3800 km in search of the most aseptic and impersonal parts of the island, with the idea of ​​isolating tourists and people from the environmental context.

In August there was a volcano that erupts. We discovered its lava strength on Instagram, two weeks before the departure. To facilitate the visits, they have created two paid parking and a road that can only be traveled by foot. Along the way it is an exile of mismatched gloves and hats lost. The authorities invite you to stay on the marked route, because – they say – it can be dangerous.

Looking for off the beaten track places we ended up in the most isolated fjord of Iceland where we discovered that the inhabitants all know each other because they attended the same local school. Despite the different ages, there was only one class and one teacher for everyone. Twice a week, a small ship docks at the marina to allow locals to go shopping without taking the car. In August 2022, 11 (eleven) people lived here. We met one with his dog. Very friendly. He was a postman working about 2 hours by car from the fjord.

He worked every year from April to the end of October, then with the first snow they closed the road and the job was gone. Even the fishing industry has gone, there are no more fish. They had so many and they exported them to Japan.

It’s a matter of time and timing. There is also a hostel belonging to a well-known hotel firm. Despite the peak of the season, it was closed. No hot chocolate for us. The road ends with the last house inhabited by two elderly sisters. Beyond their home, nothing.

In these places there is only one time, that of Winter. The Christmas decorations, which are also fixed in the summer, testify to this.

Supermarkets are large, very cold and aseptic environments, the products are poorly placed on the shelves and without an evident logic. However, sweets and soft drinks dominate. They also have tropical fruits but you can’t bargain on the price. You buy them at a high price.Water is everywhere, but it is the only product in supermarkets with an English label, bottled for tourists.

The supermarket checkouts are presided over by blond children, boys and girls, largely minors. They speak excellent English and are very friendly. Their minimal and indispensable warmth compensates for the aseptic cold of the supermarket.

Private property is not noticed as we know it and definitly Iceland is a country where children leave their bicycles untied along the road and where a yellow light means slow down and not speed up. 

Everything was fine, I saw Iceland suffering a bit because we are a lot and we all want to see it.

About the author:

Luca Arena (1988) was born on the first day of spring at 9:30. He is color-blind since 35 years and every day he tries to get over it. He studied economics and marketing at the University of Pisa and during his free time he devotes himself to travel and photographic reports.

He has several solo exhibitions and online publications. The work Impersonalism: Tenerife was presented to the public with a personal exhibition at Spazio 32 in La Spezia, a cultural reference point, while the project Á means river | Ísland and the book was exhibited at GATE 26A in Modena.

IG: liuk_arena

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