La Mer Nordique runs monthly photo walks in and around Gothenburg. I went to my first one last month, and my second last night. The photo walks are a bunch of local photographers of all different styles, skill levels, and gear brands, wandering around a particular part of town and then getting a drink in a nearby bar.
What I really enjoy – more than the social aspect which, for someone like me, is a real energy boost – is that the walks are in areas I’d never otherwise visit. Last time, we walked around industrial Lindholmen and this time, around the industrial fish-packing harbour in Majorna.
I’d never have had the guts to lurk around the warehouses while workers finished up their shifts – dirty, sweaty and tired after a long day of fish stuff. There’s safety in numbers (never far from my mind as a young woman) but there’s also confidence. The self-consciousness that comes with having a camera out in public is significantly less bothersome when standing in a group of 20 other people holding their own.
As the day closes, it would be twilight further south. Instead, the sun beats down on the grubby coastal landscape. The harbour stands silent and still. Its bustling energy, vibrant during the workday, is pocked by long evening shadows. The day’s labor is dwindling and the windows to offices along the water are now veiled in darkness.
Packing materials lie discarded on the bitumen and dirty foam spews from a drain. The harbour rests, a temporary pause, breathing out a sigh of relief that reeks of bleach mixed with rotting fish.