Mathieu Asselin's 'Winterswimmers' Series Documents a Wacky Ritual

By: Vasiliki Marapas - Jan 6, 2015
References: mathieuasselin & featureshoot
New York-based photographer Mathieu Asselin captures an ancient tradition for his latest project, a series titled 'Winterswimmers.'

In the early 1900's, a man by the name of Bernarr Macfadden espoused his belief that winter swimming was an effective practice for improving stamina, virility and immunity. Macfadden went on to found the 'Coney Island Polar Bear Club,' which gathered a group of swimmers to routinely brave the frigid temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean during the winter. Today, there are still a dedicated group of swimmers who take the icy plunge; most notably on New Year's day, where they celebrate the brand-new year with a glacial dip.

Asselin stumbled upon the winter swimmers by chance and was immediately captivated by their determination, fearlessness and wacky commitment to a bizarre ritual.