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Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione
Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione
Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione
Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione
Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione
Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione
Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione
Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione
Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione
Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione
Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione
Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione
Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione
Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione
Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

Halfway Mountain. © Giulia Mangione

 

Giulia Mangione is a visual artist and photographer based in Copenhagen, exploring identity, nationality and belonging. After completing an MA in Comparative Literary Studies in London, she attended the Danish School of Media and Journalism in Aarhus, Denmark. Her work has been widely published on Italian and International magazines and exhibited in festivals and galleries europewide. Her dummy book The Happy Show - now Halfway Mountain - was shortlisted for the MACK First Book Award and Kassel Dummy Award in 2017.

During her studies at the Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX) in Aarhus, Denmark, Giulia Mangione started to work on her final project and decided to focus her visual research on the Country that was hosting her.
Always on top of the annual World Happiness Report, Denmark is often perceived through – generally positive – stereotypes common to other Nordic Countries, like liberal habits, design or the ubiquitous bikes.
This could be not enough to define the "World’s happiest Country". So the photographer consulted Canadian economist John Helliwell, compiler of the World Happiness Report, Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, and submitted to several experts a questionnaire trying to define happiness. She collected miscellaneous data and opinions and, above all, met the Danes: birthday parties, young families, elders, catholic meetings and nudist campings.
The photographer talks about this work: «People often ask me if the Danes are really the happiest people in the world. I still don’t have an answer to this. But I know what I like about the Danes. I like that they use cemeteries as places to celebrate life more than death. I like their innate sense of freedom in being what they want to be. I like the fact that Danes go to ‘højskole’ (High School) to learn something for life, to be aware of what they are good at and what makes them happy».
The result is a collective portrait made with Christmas dinners and summer holidays, suburban places, families and community life, bizarre yet entirely common characters.
We don’t know either if Danes are actually the happiest people in the world, but everything makes us believe that they don’t really care about it.

Halfway Mountain was published in May by Journal Photobooks, and will be on display from 4 to 9 June at Mohole school during Milano Photo Week.

   Gabriele Magazzù

 

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