101 Shopkeepers
With only 330.000 inhabitants, Iceland now hosts almost four times as many tourists every year. The old city of Reykjavík, with its oddly-matched buildings and eccentric array of shops, artisans and artists is giving way to the tourist trade. The old city used to be a haven for artists, writers, small industries, galleries and local designers, but now the old stores and workshops are being priced out and replaced by hotels, souvenir shops and franchise restaurants. Helga has photographed some of the last survivors, showing us a way of life and work that is familiar but which now seems slightly quaint. Her series of portraits asks pressing questions: What will be left of our culture? What will we lose in the greedy pursuit of short-term profit? And why would anyone want to come here if all they find is another Hard Rock restaurant or a Dunkin’ Doughnuts shop? Text by Jón Proppé