Sunday, May 19, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

The polar night and the midnight sun

Published 28 December 2023
- By Editorial Staff

During the dark winter months of the North, it can be tough for many to keep their spirits up, and it can be especially welcome with a little extra inspiration – something photographer Jonna Jinton shares in a strong view of the Nordic’s sharp light contrasts.

In Sweden, unlike many other countries, we have another significantly more tangible difference between summer and winter than just heat and cold, and that is the difference in light. In the summer we experience bright nights and in the winter dark days – something that many people find difficult to deal with.

The photographer Jonna Jinton lives in Västernorrland a little outside Örnsköldsvik – an area where these contrasts are very extreme. During the darkest time, you only have one hour of daylight – if the sun is not obscured by the clouds, that is.

In January, when the sun starts to come back, it’s like seeing the sun for the first time again, she says.

In a film, she shows the Nordic contrasts between darkness and light and gives a slightly different view of especially the dark winters in the north – where she also reflects what is beautiful in the seemingly dark season.

Jonna says, for example, that she thinks that the light itself is most beautiful in real life and also to capture in a picture at the most extreme times in the summer – but also in the winter. In addition, she mentions something that is often forgotten in the winter darkness, that there are two sources of light that are unique to the Nordics and that are particularly noticeable far north, the sparkling starry sky and the infamous northern lights.

– I can cope with the dark as long as I have the starry sky and the northern lights, she says.

Some things Jonna mentions that help her keep her spirits up in the winter, besides getting as much daylight as possible, are staying physically active, taking ice baths and making a little extra effort to eat nutritious food.

Most of all, however, she emphasizes that winter creates a lot of unnecessary suffering when we try to force ourselves to feel as energetic as during the summer and instead urges us to try to come to terms with the fact that it is okay to feel more tired and uninspired, to sleep more and let things slow down.

A flower would never force itself to bloom during the winter, so why should we do it? she asks herself.

Jonna Jinton is a Swedish photographer, musician and filmmaker with a focus primarily on nature and life in the Nordics. She grew up in Gothenburg, but moved in 2010 to a small community in Västernorrland county. In 2011, she started her YouTube channel, which is aimed at an international audience and currently has 2.7 million followers.

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