Giulia Mangione: Halfway Mountain

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According to the World Happiness Report, a yearly survey of the
state of global happiness, commissioned by the United Nations,
Denmark is often ranked as the “happiest country in the world”.
While studying photography in Denmark in 2014, Italian Giulia Mangione
had to work on a final project. Most of her classmates went to far away
countries. Giulia decided to stay to understand what made Denmark the
happiest country in the world.
“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.
In her New Year’s Speech 2017, Queen Margrethe of Denmark said:
‘Try and do something that is not necessary, something that there is no
need for, something pointless!’ And continued: ‘I think it is important to
have experiences that appeal to our senses, something that inspires our
imagination, that stimulates the mind, and that can enlarge our world.
That is not so pointless after all.’
Driving around Denmark, often sleeping in a tent under pouring
rain, I would find myself asking why I was doing it. But now I have the
feeling that Margrethe might be right.”

53 color images • Text by Giulia Mangione and Kristen Bjørnkjær • Translation to English: Maria Morris and to Swedish: Gösta Flemming • Quote by Aksel Sandemose • Editing and design: Gösta Flemming and Giulia Mangione • Soft cover with flaps • 165 x 220 mm • 116 pages • English/Danish/Swedish • 2018

Shortlisted for Prix du Livre 2018, Arles, France.