Steinunn Káradóttir is setting out to sea with her father Kári Borgar Ásgrímsson. Their boat Glettingur, named after a nearby peak, is the only “mountain” visible – fog obscures the rest. They’ve been preparing to sail since 5.30am – a later than usual start for the pair, who have been fishing together since Steinunn was […]
At the heart of downtown Reykjavík lies the small, sheltered Austurvöllur square, criss-crossed by walking paths and lined with lilac trees. In the middle of the square, facing the unassuming two-storey structure that houses Iceland’s parliament, is a statue of Jón Sigurðsson, leader of Iceland’s 19th century campaign for independence from Denmark. At a national meeting called by the Danish government in 1851, Jón led Icelandic representatives in opposing a new constitution which would limit Icelanders’ rights. “We all protest!” they famously called out. “Vér mótmælum allir!”
The statue of this celebrated Icelandic protester has since fittingly looked down upon many other activists who have occupied Austurvöllur, which has since become the gathering place for locals who want to speak out on any issue. While many are familiar with Iceland’s mass protests following the 2008 banking collapse, the country’s history of protest in the modern era is much longer and more complex, spurred by issues ranging from women’s liberation and nuclear disarmament to, most recently, action on climate change and asylum seekers’ rights.
Yet by many measures, Icelanders are among the happiest people on earth, and Iceland one of the best places to live. So, what is it that drives locals of a wealthy, peaceful country to protest in the streets? And have these protests, miniscule on a global scale, spurred any tangible changes?
The Icelandic government has put forward a plan to replace fossil fuels with electricity in the next decades. Among the government’s goals is a total ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. The government aims to have 30,000 electric cars in Iceland by 2026. To make this transition go smoothly, charging ports have […]
Boxing has been practiced in Iceland since 1916 when Danish boxing coach Wilhelm Jackobson introduced the sport to the country. The first official boxing tournament was organised on April 22, 1928 in Gamla Bíó in downtown Reykjavík. The first championship was held June 1936 at Melavöllur stadium. Even though the sport had quickly proven popular, […]
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