Marius Vagenes Villanger took this famous picture throughout the month of march 2018 that shows norwegian millitary playing football in the West Ice in Eastcoast of Greenland. In this interview, he's talking about the story of the picture which was published in numerous newspapers.
Marius, what did you do in Greenland ?
I am working as a Public Affairs Soldier in the Royal Norwegian Navy (including service for the Norwegian Fleet and the Norwegian Coast Guard). I am also a conscript, serving my compulsory military service, working mostly as a photographer. My mission includes sailing with the Norwegian Navy’d ships and vessels, documenting their activities through missions in national and International waters.
The stay in the West Ice was a once in a lifetime-experience for me and the rest of the crew, wich I never will forget. I am very satisfied with my service so far, and all the experiences it has given me. The photo is taken from the helideck at «NoCGW Svalbard». As well as the documenting of the specific mission, do I also documentate the life onboard.
The Coast Guard were in the West-Ice to support the researchers from the Marine Research Institute in Tromsø to calculate the total population of seals, to determ the quota for seal haunt. They did research on Harp and Hooded seals.
(The Norwegian Coast Guard Wessel) «NoCGW Svalbard» is the only operative Icebreaker owned by the Norwegian Government. The ship were base for the researchers and the helicopter, used for recognition in the area.
What did you choose to take this picture ?
First I just wanted to make the picture as a great memory for the crew, but since that time, it has been posted all over the world, in the biggest papers ! Wich I think is very fun.
Are you a professional photographer ?
I have no photographic education. But still working as a photographer in the Royal Norwegian Navy, and did before that a whole lot of freelancing, when it came to incidents and accidents. Almost like in the movie, nightcrawler. I've wored here for almost nine months now and really enjoy it. I am doing this as a part of my conscription.
Who came up with the idea for a football game and who brought the ball ?
The initiative was taken by a Norwegian officer. Responsible for physical activity onboard. AS well as keeping the soldiers in shape, he wanted to give them a once in a lifetime-experience. For many of them was this the first time on the massive fleeks outside Greenland.
The ship has a rich variaty of tools and accesories for welfare and physical activity during longer periods off shore. Therefore they had a ball onboard. The goals were made by conscripts, using woods found onboard.
What did the players do when the ball went in the water ?
If the ball went into the water, we had to be creative. Mostly they used the ladder to «fish it» back on the fleek.
What is your relation with the football ?
I played football myself until I was fithteen. Since then my interests changed a bit. I gave the ball to those who where able to handle it properly. I realized early that never would do any big career on the football field.
Do you follow a Norway team ?
In Norway I follow the team BRANN, located in the beautiful city of Bergen, on the westcoast of Norway.
Is football famous in Norway ?
Football is very famous in Norway. The most of the people pays a lot of money to watch football, at arenas, on TV and as weel on pubs and things like that. Althoug the norwegian football never could be compared to the level in the rest of Europe.
Thanks a lot to Marius !
If you want to discover his work, follow him on Instragram.