The Silent Flashes Project Overview

The Silent Flashes Project explores and celebrates the 'photographic heritage' of Icelandic immigrants and their descendants in North America.    In addition to gathering, preserving, and archiving old photographs, this initiative seeks to increase awareness of the historic and artistic value of early photography and promote creative new applications in contemporary culture.

Between 1870 and 1910, some 20,000 Icelandic men, women, and children emigrated to Canada and the United States.   Establishing more than 50 rural and urban settlements from coast to coast, both north and south of the border, these pioneers dispersed across the vast landscape of North America, as did their children and grandchildren.   The photographs that document their lives and experiences are therefore scattered far and wide, and many have already been lost to time, natural disasters, and neglect.   As this process will only accelerate with the passage of time, there is an urgent need for a pro-active approach and long-term archival security.