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Photo: Laura Wright

Anne-Stine Johnsbråten (b.1983) is an independent documentary photographer living in Oslo.

TIME called her one of "eight Norwegian photographers you need to follow" in 2015. She mainly works with personal projects, combining reporting with portrait work to explore topics such as gender, identity and discrimination. Several of her long-term projects have been shown in renowned galleries and festivals in Norway and abroad, such as Henie Onstad Art Center and The House of Photography in Oslo, Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism in Hannover and Cortona on the Move in Italy. She won first prize in Documentary abroad in Norwegian Picture of the Year 2016 for Good Wife, Wise Mother - Women in Japan. She was invited for an artist residency at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, USA in 2017. In 2012 she received the Tribute Prize from The Freedom of Expression Foundation in Norway for her work The Norwegian Roma.



Anne-Stine Johnsbråten (f.1983) arbeider som uavhengig dokumentarfotograf med personlige fotoprosjekter. TIME kalte henne ”en av åtte norske fotografer du må følge” i 2015. Hun fordyper seg i prosjekter over lang tid og interesserer seg særlig for temaer som kjønn, identitet, diskriminering, sosiale relasjoner og legger gjerne an et sosialantropologisk perspektiv i sine verk. Johnsbråten har en hatt en rekke utstillinger i anerkjente gallerier i Norge og i utlandet, som Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter og Fotografiets hus, Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism i Hannover og Cortona on the Move i Italia. Hun vant første pris i Årets bilde 2016 i kategorien dokumentar utland for God kone, vis mor – Kvinner i Japan. I 2017 var hun invitert til en kunstner residens på St. Mary’s College of Maryland i USA. I 2012 mottok hun Fritt Ords honnørpris for sitt prosjekt om norske romá. ­­

Anne-Stine Johnsbråten presents selected works from three projects:


Everyday Muslim (Work in progress): 

What is it like to be a young Muslim in Norway today?

Many young Muslims with immigrant background struggle to find their role and identity, both in the Norwegian society and in Muslim communities. A negative focus on Islam in the media and comment fields over several years has let to minority youth feeling stigmatized and that they are regarded as suspicious. What do young Muslims think about their faith and their place in Norwegian society?

Good Wife, Wise Mother (2011-2016):

The economic growth in Japan the last decades has led to fast socio-economic changes. Family life and women’s greater opportunity to participate in society has to a large degree been effected by the higher life expectancy, lower birth rates, higher education and extensive urbanization. On the other hand, the work marked, school system, the media and inefficient equality laws reinforce a society where women have limited options, a choice that too often has to be made between family life or a career. Prime minister Shinzo Abe has is recent years said he wants to build a society where women can “shine” as part of his "Abenomics' and growth strategy for Japan. A report for 2016 records a significant widening of the gender gap for certain professions, despite progress in other segments. Seemingly the old mindset and gender patterns are reproducing themselves within the Japanese society. 

Vestervegs (Work in progress):

The Vikings are trending, in TV-series, in tourism, in commercials, in popular culture in general. The Vikings represents both Scandinavian and European memories, history, art and heritage. In what way is the Norse heritage influencing Norwegian and Scandinavian cultural identity? How does the Neo-Nazis and White supremacists use of Viking symbolism and esthetics affect Scandinavians view on themselves? Can the Vikings migration patterns and reasons for searching for new land tell us about humans inherent and justified search for a better life? In summer 2017, I went on a voyage that followed the Viking routes from Eiriksfjord in Greenland via Labrador to the first Viking settlements in Amerika, on Newfoundland in Canada, to start off the first chapter of the story that will explore these questions and more.

**Click on image for full size.

Charles Mathiesen

Abdirahman Hassan (19): I would like people to see me as a young Muslim boy who is very understanding, who has respect for other people regardless of their religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation. I’m a person who is very open and tolerant. I am very interested in radicalization, to know why some people choose that path. I think the reasons are very much related to loneliness and misinterpretation and the feeling of being banned by society, exclusion, extermination and the feeling of not belonging.

Safa Elfarri (21): I was in Spain a month ago and was going fly home. I asked my brother how I should pray on the journey, because it’s done a bit differently. Then he said to me that you can pray like this or that, but you should take care of whoever is sitting next to you. I wouldn’t want to scare anyone, especially when we're in a plane. If they see me pray they can assume I'm a Muslim and that I want to bomb the plane. It is very sad that ISIS creates so much fear. They say they are Muslims, but I do not know what they are. They have come to the conclusion that it is allowed to kill, but it is not allowed in Islam. In Islam, it is said that if you kill a person it's like killing all humanity.

Asha Abdullahi (19): Why should it bother you that I have chosen to wear a hijab? Why is a woman suppressed if she chooses to wear more? I think we all should be more inclusive. Everyone has prejudices, but one must break them down and try to have an open mind. A lot of people have misunderstood that there is only one type of Muslim; it’s not. You must ask a Muslim, if you know one, what they personally perceive as true to them as an individual.

Hassan Farooq Baig (19): My motivation for being a good Muslim is an inner motivation, not an outer one. I do not quite know why I cannot pray. Obviously, my parents remind me. They say you do not pray for us, you pray for yourself. I have the prayer apps, although there have been some technical issues with them. I think I'm a bit weak in the way I practice. Of course, I only eat halal and try my best. For example, in McDonalds or Burger King, I cannot eat it because I do not know how they have slaughtered and cooked the meat, so I'll just get the fish burger every time. The practice of my faith can be seen in the small things. 

September 2016. Mai Yano (25) is marrying Ken Yoshida (27). One of the staff at the Shinto shrine in Kobe explains the ceremony. Her mother, Chie (53), her sister Yuki (27) and her brother in law Kosuke (27) are preparing. According to the patriarchal Ie-system a couple has to decide upon one sir name after marriage. I most cases the husband’s family name is used in the Koseki, the family register. 

May 2012. Noir-party at the night club XEX Nihonbashi in Tokyo. Manami ”Mana” Sawa (27) is running the dance company Tokyo Party Time, instructing, choreographing, as well as managing thirty female go-go-dancers. Mana also loves working as a dancer in the clubs. Mana’s husband, who is also Japanese, has no problems with her profession, and comes along to watch from time to time.

May 2012. In April 2013 Kanako lost her permanent employment. She wanted to spend more time with her children, Yuki (3) og Mizuki (3 months), and her company was no longer committed to grant for her permission. She was now one of the many less privileged part time working women in Japan.

Mark Pilgrim (41) works at L'Anse aux Meadows visitor center where he plays Ragnarr Redbeard. 

Diane Harper (56) plays Authr Oddsdottir.

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