Swedish Academy’s Nordic 2023 Prize Awarded to Icelandic Writer Sjón

sjón iceland author

The Swedish Academy’s 2023 Nordic Prize is awarded to Icelandic author Sjón for his significant contributions to Nordic literature.

The award, to be presented April 12, carries with it a prize of 400,000 SEK [$39,000; €36,000].

Read More: Sjón Withdraws from Iceland Noir Festival

The Swedish Academy works for the promotion of the Swedish language and literature through awards that recognize authors, translators, critics, researchers, teachers, and librarians. The Academy also promotes Nordic and international literature more generally through such prizes.

Known for his poetic and surreal style, Sjón’s best-recognized works include MoonstoneCoDex 1962The Blue Fox, and From the Mouth of the Whale. He has previously been awarded the 2005 Nordic Council Literature Prize, the 2013 Icelandic Literary Prize, among others. His works have been translated into more than 30 languages.

Cinema-goers may also recognize his recent contributions to Lamb, a psychological folk horror film directed by Valdimar Jóhansson, and The Northman, a gritty historical drama directed by Robert Eggers. He is also known for his collaboration with other high-profile artists, including the song text for Björk in the Lars von Trier film, Dancer in the Dark.

Other recent recipients of the literary prize include Karl Ove Knausgård (Norway) in 2019, Rosa Liksom (Finland) in 2020, Eldrid Lunden (Norway) in 2021, and Naja Marie Aidt (Denmark) in 2022.

Read more about the Swedish Academy’s Nordic Prize here.

 

 

 

 

Busy Weekend for ICE-SAR on Hellisheiði Pass

winter weather iceland

ICE-SAR was busy until late into the evening on Hellisheiði pass this past Sunday. Severe weather left several people trapped in their cars after a significant traffic accident, which reportedly involved up to ten vehicles.

Hellisheiði is the mountainous pass between South Iceland and the Reykjanes peninsula and can present travellers with very difficult conditions during the winter.

Of the individuals involved in the traffic accident, several were transported to the emergency room in Reykjavík, though none were reported as seriously injured. In addition to assisting potentially injured drivers and removing damaged cars from the road, ICE-SAR was also busy evacuating individuals from their vehicles and bringing them back to town.

According to a representative from ICE-SAR, approximately 150 people were assisted yesterday.

Members of ICE-SAR from throughout the region were present, including from Selfoss, Hveragerði, Reykjavík, and Þorlákshöfn.

Hellisheiði pass was closed for much of yesterday due to the weather, but is currently open at the time of writing. Travellers are advised to check conditions and heed weather warnings when driving in Iceland.

This winter has been noteworthy for the number of weather warnings issued. While 2020 saw the most weather warnings in total issued, the winter of 2022 saw a record number of orange and red warnings. In total, 84 of these extreme weather warnings were issued.

 

Confederation of Enterprise to Vote on Lockout Against Efling

efling strike iceland

The board of SA, the Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise, has agreed to present a vote to its member companies to initiate a lockout against the members of the Efling trade union.

According to SA chairperson Halldór Benjamín Þorbergsson, SA members will be presented with a vote today. Stating that negotiations with Efling have gone as far as they can, the potential lockout would represent an escalation of the so-far unproductive negotiations between the two labour organisations. If the lockout goes through, it would potentially affect the entire Efling membership, some 20,000 workers. Efling is one of the largest trade unions in Iceland and a lockout against the union would have significant effects on the entire economy.

Read More: No Postponement of Strikes

Halldór was careful to note in a statement that the tactic has been used sparingly by SA throughout the decades, but that the uncooperative tactics in use by Efling have forced his hand. He has been quoted as referring to the vote as an “emergency measure.”

“In short, SA can initiate a lockout, just like Efling can threaten a strike,” Halldór clarified. “When the vote is over, and let’s assume it’s approved, we will hand over a document to the leadership of Efling notifying them of the lockout. The state mediator will also receive a copy. Just like in the case of strikes, it has seven days to be implemented. We believe that we have reached such a critical moment in this dispute that we can no longer allow Efling to paralyze society as a whole with a hand-picked group of employees.”

Halldór likewise stated that the vote would concern all members of Efling, but that a potential lockout will be implemented with specific regard to the conditions SA members find most suitable.

Read More: Efling Suspends Strikes

The vote comes after threats by Efling chairperson to resume strikes, which had been postponed, on Sunday.

Locked-out workers would not be allowed to show up to their usual employment. As such, they would not receive wages, accrue leave, or receive pension payments.