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Meet Kara Schuster, photographer, artist, past president and convention co-coordinator of the ICCT

After graduating with honours from the University of Toronto, she went to Iceland for the first time in 2002 as a member of the Snorri program.

She took her second trip to Iceland in 2003 and photographed the southern part of the country.

In 2008 she went back with her mother and brother and acted as their guide.

Her mother’s grandparents on her father's side, Magnús Guðmundsson Ísfeld, (born at Stóruö Reykjum, South Thingeyar) left Iceland for Brazil. There he married Ellin Joelsdóttir (born at Lundarbrekka, South Thingeyar) in 1876 in Curitiba. They had 12 children. Joel August (her grandfather) was born in Curitiba in 1886. 1n 1904 they left Brazil, homesteaded in Wynyard, Saskatchewan. August married Steinunn June "Rose" Thórarinson (born in the North West Territories, now Saskatchewan in 1905) in 1929. August and Rose had seven children, and later moved to Cardston, Alberta in 1946.

Both of Rose's parents, Gudmundur Thórarinson (born in 1863 in Jökulsáhli) and Solveig (Jonsson) Runólfsson (born in Geirastaðir in 1873) and their families moved from Iceland to Fort Rouge, Manitoba in 1883. They married in 1896 in Winnipeg and had six children.

Her photographs for her show were taken at Djúpavík, a small fishing town that was home to a herring factory in the 1930s and was once Iceland’s largest concrete building. It went out of business in 1954. She was taken with the contrast of the beauty of nature and the deterioration of human ambition. Her photographs will be part of the Contact Photography Festival in Toronto during the month of May. There will be an opening reception May 12th, 7 p.m.-10 p.m.

She discovered Djupavík while watching the movie Heima by Sigur Rós. One of their concerts was in the warehouse at Djupavík. After years of travelling to abandoned places in Ontario and New York to document them, she was determined to make another trip to Iceland and go to Djupavík. The owners of the property welcomed her and her family and gave them a private tour of the property.
She says, ‘Being able to experience places that were thriving industries before they are gone forever is exhilarating to me. I like to breathe life back into them, give some of their importance back.’

It’s not a show to miss. If you’d like to go, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to RSVP. Her show is at the Thor Espresso Bar, 35 Bathurst Street, Toronto, opening reception is May 12th from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Show is on from May 1st - 31st.
Kara’s website is at or call 905-302-9699

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