The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, one of the most northern areas in the world, is known for its remote terrain, proximity to the North Pole and its population of polar bears. With the Northern Lights visible throughout the winter months, and the summer ‘midnight sun’ bringing constant sunlight for 24 hours a day, the Svalbard islands are thought to be one of the most beautiful places to exist – but also one of the most challenging areas to live in.
For Parajumpers‘ latest campaign, the Italian clothing brand is dedicated to exploring the lives of those living amongst nature in the rocky terrain of Svalbard’s Longyearbyen. These people embrace isolation, knowing that they’re far away from any neighbours (aside from some reindeer and Arctic foxes).
Parajumpers‘ first story in the campaign introduces Wiggo Antonsen, a taxi driver and sightseeing tour operator, who arrived in Longyearbyen from mainland Norway over ten years ago. “In this town, we are 2,304 citizens, but we come from 51 different countries”, Antonsen explains when discussing the inclusivity and sense of community in his beloved town. “What I like best about this place is the combination of peace, no stress and no crime”.
Leaving behind fast-paced city life for the slow-moving, relaxed atmosphere of the remote Svalbard islands, Antonsen has followed in the footsteps of many other Longyearbyen residents who can’t see themselves living anywhere else, after leaving their hectic past lives for the breathtakingly beautiful island town. “I came up here and I found out this was laid back and it’s a simple life. I’m going to stay here ‘till I retire completely [,] that’s for sure”.