A child dressed up in Viking clothing. Photo: Hans Splinter/Flickr
Espen Winther, who is well-known for his pictures of men, women, and children dressed in Viking clothing, launched the campaign, “wide pride”, which he says is “dedicated to the fight for equality.”
He felt moved to protest after he discovered that several of his photographs had been posted on “We support our white children”, a racist Facebook forum.
“There are some people who are overly nationalistic and concerned with racial issues who like to identify with Viking history and what they think people during that time stood for,” Winther told the local Tønsbergs Blad newspaper. “During the years I have followed them, I have not met a single person in the scene with opinions like that.”
This is not the first time Winther has had his pictures stolen by nationalist groups.
“I feel outraged when someone posts a photograph that I have taken in Borre (a Viking reconstruction event), of my friends in Viking clothes on websites such as this.” he told the paper. “Not because they are my photographs, but because my friends have been abused. Many of the photographs are of children.”
The Facebook page “We support our white children” has recently published a number of photos of people in traditional Norwegian national dress, adding slogans such as 'proud to be a white heterosexual man” on a photos of a couple in Viking garb.
“The two people are gentle, kind, and open minded. I was so angry!” Winther’s told Sweden’s Metro newspaper.
His new campaign is aimed at fighting back against the misuse of photographs.
“Spreading messages like that using other people’s pictures of kids is completely disgusting,” he told Tønsbergs Blad.