Radius 500 Metres
by Terje Abusdal
Published by Journal, Stockholm, 2015
15 x 21 centimetres. 96 pages. Hardbound.
First Edition, 600 copies.
Radius 500 Metres is a photobook made from the archives of Åsmund Abusdal, told by his grandson Terje Abusdal. Portrayed through a series of personal photos from the Setesdal Valley, the book offers glimpses of everyday life in rural Norway in the 1970s and 80s. A time before wealth of the oil industry transformed the country and way of life forever. In that way, Radius 500 Metres is a visual testimony from a period that marked the end for the post-war social democratic welfare model and the shift to neoliberalism.
Åsmund Abusdal was a self-proclaimed journalist and photographer. Many of the pictures, accompanied by stories he wrote, were published in the local newspaper, Setesdølen. The photographs are spontaneous – wonderful examples of the snapshot-aesthetics that had its golden age around the same time these were taken. They are unintended historical documents and Norwegian contributions to a glorious era of colour photography.
The book contains text in Norwegian and English.
Selected for The Photobook Exhibition, Athens Photo Festival 2016, Greece.
Selected for the exhibition Have Book will Travel, Fotofestiwal 2016, Poland.
Selected in Photo-eye's annual survey Best Books 2015:
"For several generations, Terje Abusdal’s family has owned and run a small gas station-cum-café in the Setesdal valley of southern Norway. In Radius 500 Metres, Absudal presents a stunning collection of snapshots taken in and around the station by his grandfather — who inherited the business in the 1970s, and was also a keen photographer and contributor to the local newspaper. The book offers a matter-of-fact yet deeply moving portrait of a close-knit, rural community in mid-twentieth century Norway, before the country’s oil boom and subsequent wealth, and documents a family business’s modest yet vital role within it in the most endearing of ways."