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19.06

In Focus

In Focus: Municipal Mergers

It’s Monday morning. Katrín wakes up and gets her daughter ready for school. After dropping her off, she heads to the local library, where she does freelance work. On her way there, she notices the progress in the apartment housing being built across the street: she’s renting now but has put a down payment on an apartment there. During her lunch break, Katrín drives out of town for a walk at her favourite hiking spot. Since it was designated as a protected area several years ago, it’s been getting more popular. She works until 5.00pm. Her daughter participates in an after-school program until then. After picking her up, they head to the local pool for a bit of fun before dinner. One organisation has had a hand in every aspect of Katrín’s day, as well as her daughter’s: her local council.

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Flokkunarstöðin í Gufunesi og Urðunarstöðin á Álfsnesi
Magazine

The Age of
Eco-Anxiety

A few days after Greta Thunberg voyaged across the Atlantic on a carbon-neutral sailboat, I boarded a cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale headed for Mexico. Hurricane Dorian had just decimated the Bahamanian island of Abaco and the death toll was rising.

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Stöðvarfjörður East Iceland
Culture

Off the Hook

Stöðvarfjörður, East Iceland is home to 181 people. In 2011, its old fish-processing plant, once the beating heart of the town, had fallen into disuse and was set to be demolished. That’s when a team of creatives with big ideas stepped in, acquiring the building at an auction for the give-away price of ISK 101,000 ($805/€731).
It’s the largest building in town. But it wasn’t even windproof. No electricity, no heating. Heaps of industrial waste were strewn all over its 2,800 sq m (30,100 sq ft) surface area, after years of labour and tonnes of fish. An immense task lay ahead of the team. Nowadays, there’s little fish to be found in the Fish Factory, but instead it has breathed a different kind of life into Stöðvarfjörður.

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Central Bank of Iceland governor Ásgeir Jónsson
Business

A Króna for Your Thoughts

To some, he is the face of the financial bubble as the chief economist of Kaupþing, ahead of the 2008 financial crash. To others, he is the perfect man to shape the Icelandic economy, with his expertise in monetary policy. The new man at the helm of the Central Bank of Iceland is Governor Ásgeir Jónsson.

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Sóley Stefánsdóttir musician
Culture

Facing the Music

Sóley is imagining the end of the world, and it’s lifting her spirits.

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Benjamin Hardman
Magazine

White Out / Benjamin Hardman

“I heard some people talk about Iceland in a student kitchen in London one night. That is the first time that I can ever remember hearing about it, which is mind-blowing to me. How can I never have seen anything about this place before 2013? That’s so strange.”

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Icelandic sheepdog
Magazine

A New Leash On Life

I’m on my way to meet a national pageant winner, who after a thorough examination by a qualified judge was selected as the most beautiful in all the land. The pageant winner is perhaps not quite what you would expect, however.
Firstly, he’s male. Secondly, he’s three years old. Thirdly, he’s covered in a thick coat of luxurious fur.
His name is Einir, and he’s an Icelandic sheepdog.

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Áramótaskaup 2019
Culture

Laugh Out the Old:
Iceland’s New Year’s Eve Comedy Tradition

Icelandic New Year’s Eve parties are notorious for their ill-advised combination of copious quantities of alcohol and ample access to explosives. Yet amidst the pollution and chaos of the night, every party has a distinct, hour-long lull. The reason is the TV comedy special Áramótaskaupið, which has satirised the top news stories of the year with skits and songs since its debut on radio in the 1940s.

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Surfing in Iceland
Magazine

Riders on the Storm

Glassy. Stoked. Gnarly. Shred. Rip it. Sun-bleached surfing vocabulary seems out of place on the Snæfellsnes peninsula on this cold and windy morning. It’s a rich part of the vocabulary of Czech brothers Lukas and Filip Polach who came to Iceland for the thrill of surfing – chasing the perfect wave.

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fireworks pollution
Culture

In Focus: No Smoke Without Fireworks

Reykjavík’s New Year’s Eve fireworks tradition results in much pollution, yet it’s also the primary source of funding for the country’s search and rescue teams.

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