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To the Vote

OUT OF THE EXACTLY 60 RESIDENTS OF SKORRADALUR, 47 ARE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE. In 1910, there were 203 municipal councils in Iceland. Now there are fewer than half that number. During the 20th century, following centuries of economic stagnation, Iceland finally industrialised. It was later than other countries in Europe, but it happened in half the

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Erró Icelandic visual artist

Erró: Remembrances of a Titan

“Uuh!?” Urinary associations  Suspended on a wall in the Reykjavík Art Museum, there’s a cardboard plaque displaying, among other things, the exposed penis of one of Iceland’s best-known visual artists. A major figure of the narrative-figuration movement in the 1960s, Erró hosted a “happening” at the American Centre in Paris in 1963, in which he […]

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Vigdís Hafliðadóttir Icelandic musician comic actor

Stumbling Into Success

“I SOON REALISED THAT ACTING WASN’T THE MOST PRACTICAL OF PURSUITS … AND SO I WENT TO SWEDEN TO STUDY BALLAD SINGING.” THE ENTERTAINER  Vigdís Hafliðadóttir is shuffling nervously in the foyer of the restaurant Nauthóll. Inhabiting a baggy brown shirt, sleeves partly rolled up, she eavesdrops as Valgarð Már Jakobsson, a teacher at Mosfellsbær […]

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hulda sveinsdóttir iceland sustainability

Grounded

Iceland’s nature is truly magnificent. Grand mountain ranges flanking bottomless fjords. Endless stretches of tundra and vast glaciers. Formidable rivers and thundering waterfalls. But what is there to see when you take your focus off the horizon and bring it closer: to the soil beneath your feet? What if you could zoom in even further, see the microorganisms that are invisible to the naked eye […]

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arndís lóa magnúsdóttir

Neverland

For several months, Sólveig had started every day by playing a little game with herself. She’d wake up exactly 47 seconds before the alarm clock rang, lie completely still in bed, and count down in silence. 47…42, the bus drove past the house; 35, their upstairs neighbour slammed the front door; 21, the nextdoor neighbour […]

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kristjana kristjánsdóttir

Finding the Energy to Change

The conversation about renewable energy is buzzing louder than ever before. Talk about methanol, in particular, is gaining traction across the automotive, marine, and electricity sectors, all of which have long relied on fossil fuels. A clean-burning, water-soluble and biodegradable electric fuel, methanol is the world’s simplest alcohol and is comprised of only hydrogen, oxygen, […]

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vebudin blackport icelandic television

Big Fish In Small Ponds

Blackport – a political thriller set in the remote Westfjords of the 1980s, documents what happens to a small fishing village when the Icelandic fishing quota system is implemented. If this doesn’t sound like the premise of a hit TV show to you – that’s understandable. But Blackport had Icelanders glued to their television sets […]

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icelandic startups

Idea Island

In the past few decades, startups have revolutionised how we communicate (Facebook), how we travel (Airbnb), and how we work (Zoom). They’ve also brought with them a new way of thinking about business, and even talking about it – one coloured with optimism. Who wouldn’t want to be part of the “idea economy,” joining a […]

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Höfði

On a cold winter’s night in 1952, John Greenway, Great Britain’s Minister to Iceland, heard a loud bang and woke in his bed with a start. He was alone in the embassy, commonly known as Höfði house, which also served as his official residence. Intent on discovering the source of the disruption, he descended the […]

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keflavík iceland

Keflavík

In this three-part series, Iceland Review explores the history and culture of Keflavík, as seen through the eyes of the locals. As far as kitchen metaphors are concerned, Iceland has always been less a melting pot and more a sandwich grill: a historical environment that, generation after generation, melds together a handful of related ingredients […]

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Ólafur Magnússon og frú bændur á Sveinsstöðum Trú frá S

Good Breeding

A sheep farmer’s worst nightmare is if one of his sheep starts to scratch more than usual. If their sheep start to show nerves, tremble, or grind their teeth, they should be really worried. An unstable walk or sheep that spend most of the time lying down might be showing symptoms of scrapie, the ovine […]

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Reykjavík Nightlife after COVID

Is It Really Over?

LOITERING BENEATH THE AWNING OF AN ASIAN RESTAURANT Raindrops are pattering on Laugavegur, and I’m debating whether or not to invest in a disposable vape pen. I’ve recently gone frigid turkey-bird but have made the concession of vaping during nights out on the town. Despite the exhilaration inherent within this escape clause, I forgo the […]

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