104 years ago, on 1 December 1918, Icelanders became independent from the Kingdom of Denmark. Freedom in the shadow of disaster, the First World War had just ended, and the year was the most difficult of the 20th century. First, there was the Great Cold Winter at the beginning of the year; then, the Katla volcano erupted, and finally, the Spanish Flu killed thousands of Icelanders. At the time, Icelanders were only about 90 thousand. Because of this, the independence celebrations in front of the Government Building on 1 December 1918 were very low-key. After all, the Spanish Flu peaked at the end of November. Thirty-four years later, when Icelanders founded the Republic of Iceland on 17 June 1944, it was cold, windy, and raining.
Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson
Reykjavík 2020/2022 : A7RIV : FE 1.4/35mm GM , FE 1.8/135m GM