Reykjavík
6°C
SW

Culture

Feature of the Week: Making a Killing

It’s in the papers – crime is on the rise and there’s reason to be scared. As paranoia and xenophobia are on the up, fear’s selling like never before and the Icelandic reading public’s appetite for murder and mayhem has never been keener. This trend looks like more than a passing fad. The Icelandic...

Feature of the Week: Cover Girl Uncovered

Ingibjörg Björnsdóttir, then nine years old, was just scrambling down from her patient horse when the photographer approached her. She was meant to lead her sister and brother around the meadow on their farm on the south coast of Iceland, but the balding man with the massive camera was persistent...

Feature of the Week: A Family Holds Firm

Little has changed in the Hofsá valley in the five hundred odd years since Árni Brandsson and his wife Úlfheidur bought land there in 1532. They were surely unaware, as they made their way up this most beautiful of valleys, that their arrival heralded a dynasty that would occupy their farm,...

Feature of the Week: The Thinning Blue Line

In the good old days when a police officer left the force, he or she was quickly replaced. This cycle ran smoothly for decades. But slowly the pool of new recruits started drying up, and now dissatisfied officers are leaving in droves—four percent of the country’s police officers in one year.

Feature of the Week: Of Sheep and Sovereignty

Árneshreppur is a town of farmers. Sheep farmers. Hardy, weathered, self-sufficient, indefatigable farmers, many of whom are the fourth, fifth or sixth generation to occupy the land upon which they live, and some longer than that. By car, there’s one way in and one way out. The road to Árneshreppur...

Feature of the Week: Sonic Boom

This fall, Iceland makes history with a solid decade of rejoicing in rock. The tenth annual Iceland Airwaves Music Festival descends upon Reykjavík October 15-19 for what Rolling Stone calls “the hippest long weekend on the annual music-festival calendar.” Jonas Moody brings you his picks for what...

Feature of the Week: Nerds of a Feather

Upon entering the Laugardalshöll arena I grab the first person I see and tell her in a hushed voice, “I’m looking for Lacrimae.” As the words escape I suddenly feel as though I’ve just burst into the seedy Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars , a haunt for career criminals and hired guns where...

Feature of the Week: The Clockmaker’s Crux

Designer Thórunn Árnadóttir may not be able to stop time, but she can certainly slow it down. Already, the 25-year-old dynamo’s clock is making regular appearances on design blogs and in the media, including a mention in the New York Times for her role in the budding Slow Design movement.

Feature of the Week: Life is an Inspiration

The exhibition is filled with pictures and sculptures of strange creatures. A video installation emitting odd sounds is being shown in a tent in the middle of the exhibition space. Gabríela Fridriksdóttir is one of the leading artists in Iceland. Her work is known in art circles throughout the...

Feature of the Week: Brave New Broadcast

As the world moves towards global Internet television and transcontinental simulcasts, one Icelandic network steps out of the loop in an attempt to localize the small screen. But what does the nation see when it gazes into the high-definition looking glass? Read this feature about the new Icelandic...

Feature of the Week: Incognito – One Woman’s Story of Living with HIV in Iceland

Keeping secrets in a small society is nearly impossible. But when secrets are kept, they’re kept, the sacrosanct code of loyalty that no one deigns to break. For the 207 people who have been diagnosed with HIV in Iceland, many have chosen to live beneath this veil of privacy, choosing to share...

Feature of the Week: Wordsmith of State

For over 40 years the Icelandic Language Committee has stood as the steward of the nation’s language, with crackerjack Gudrún Kvaran at its helm. Also the director of the university dictionary, Kvaran has proven herself judge, jury and hangman when it comes to the people’s tongue. But don’t let her...

Feature of the Week: Copy and Paste for Posterity

Part of Kristinn Sigurdsson’s job is to collect everything that is ever put on the Internet on any website ending in ‘.is’. He is the IT group project manager at the National Library of Iceland, and the special algorithm he helped create makes the task a little easier, but Alëx Elliott wanted to...

Feature of the Week: Growing Pains

If you predicted half a century ago that the average four-year- old child would spend the same amount of time at school every day as a teenager, you’d have been laughed right out of the playground. But that’s exactly what’s happened. The Icelandic leikskóli has liberated parents and changed the...

Feature of the Week: Twenty-First Century Antiquarian

As general director of the National Museum of Iceland, Margrét Hallgrímsdóttir oversees the preservation of the country’s most essential providence lost and found. The mother of four speaks with Sara Blask about the nation’s Mona Lisa, the selfishness of gum-chewing and why museums shouldn’t be so...

Feature of the Week: Slow Burn

Not since skyr appeared on shelves at Whole Foods Markets across America has old school in Iceland been so cool. Before you ask too many questions, allow me to answer the obvious one: yes, this Rafha stove, which lives in my kitchen on Laugavegur, still works.

Feature of the Week: Teaching an Elephant

Foreign language instruction at the secondary school level has a checkered past. While it is a valiant effort to expand young minds towards new linguistic horizons, the station of beleaguered language teacher ranks only marginally above that of band member or groundskeeper in the great pyramid of...

Feature of the Week: Peaceful Conquest

On October 9, the world’s attention focused briefly on Iceland as Yoko Ono unveiled her Imagine Peace Tower on the small but historically significant island of Videy, a short boat ride north of Reykjavík’s commercial harbor. The cold and windy ceremony was beamed live to nearly every home in...

Feature of the Week: Modern Moves

On the 14 x 14 meter stage at the Reykjavík City Theater, the Iceland Dance Company (ID), the nation’s only professional dance troupe, is rehearsing for its next performance. Since artistic director Katrín Hall took the reigns in 1996, ID has focused exclusively on contemporary dance, working with...

Feature of the Week: Reykjavík Gets Bombed

Some call it art, others call it vandalism. Reykjavík’s community of graffiti artists has some cred as documented in urban street culture expert Thórdís Claessen’s recent book Icepick , a collection of more than 1,000 photographs she took of street art in the capital and its suburbs.

Feature of the Week: Strings of Life

German puppeteer Bernd Ogrodnik settled in the northern valley of Skídadalur in Eyjafjördur to establish one of the most advanced puppetmaking workshops in the world. Ogrodnik has worked on various projects with The National Theater of Iceland and was a master puppeteer on the 2004 film Strings .

Feature of the Week: Boys on the Move

Officially there are only two of them, but they number at least four onstage and they are yet to release an album. Their sound is reminiscent of 80s pop, but everyone’s buzzing about how original and refreshing they are. Their electronic sound has never been near a guitar, but still the indie kids...

Feature of the Week: Fashion for Ewe

Not since Tony Bennett appeared alongside rapper Flavor Flav and rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards has old school made such a dashing comeback. The Icelandic sweater, in all its yoked patterns and earthy tones, is the new argyle, the new black, the new it’s so you,...

Feature of the Week: Tongue Untied

British autistic savant Daniel Tammet learned Icelandic in one week. On a dare. This summer the 28-year-old returned to Iceland, where he feels the landscape rivals only the number pi in beauty. Because of a rare condition called synesthesia, numerals and letters express entire worlds of color and...

Feature of the Week: A Different Kind of Theater

Vesturport is an innovative company of Icelandic theater and film artists. It was established in 2001 and has from the start received excellent audience appreciation, undisputed critical acclaim and several awards, amongst them the Icelandic Gríman theater awards, the Icelandic Edda film awards,...

Pages