Live, Laugh, Lava

reykjanes eruption

For the third year in a row, there’s a volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula, only a stone’s throw away from the city centre. This eruption marks a pattern, with around 300 days between eruptions, geologists’ predictions of a new eruption phase for the long-dormant volcano system seem to be coming to fruition. For visitors […]

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Borrowed Crime

true crime iceland

The sensationalisation of tragedy In 2018, the New York Times published an essay by 17-year-old Rachel Chestnut, one of the winners of the magazine’s student editorial contest. Her essay – entitled Is True Crime as Entertainment Morally Defensible? – noted that “real life acts of violence” had long been masqueraded before the public, whether as […]

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Sea Change

whaling in iceland

Last spring, journalists and activists gathered in a quiet fjord an hour’s drive north of Reykjavík. There was a small harbour, but no fishermen bringing in the day’s catch. For what these guys were fishing, they needed a bigger boat. The whaling ships of Hvalur were preparing for a season of fin whale hunting, planning […]

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Mugi-zen

mugison iceland music

It’s the first day of July and when the photographer picks me up, it’s pouring rain. Summer has yet to make an appearance in Reykjavík, or in most of Iceland for that matter. We head north out of the city, bracing ourselves for a three-hour drive to the Vatnsnes peninsula, where we’re attending an outdoor […]

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Turf and Rescue

farmhouse iceland

Austur-Meðalholt Hannes Lárusson grew up in a cluster of turf houses on the farmstead Austur-Meðalholt in Southwest Iceland.His ancestors moved there around 1850. The houses they constructed were made with the remnants of the land’s pre-existing houses, which slouched near the marshes when they arrived. The history of the farmstead stretches nearly as far back […]

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To Catch an Oystercatcher

oystercatcher reykjanes

Under the regular ascent and descent of Keflavík jet traffic, out past the old American radar stations, at the northwestern tip of the Reykjanes peninsula, sits the Suðurnes Science and Learning Centre. Much like the airport terminal a few kilometres from here, this spit of low-flung land is a place where many visitors to this […]

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Working It Out

iceland work week

A few years ago, Iceland instituted a four-day work week. It’s gone off without a hitch and everyone’s been happier since. At least that’s the story that has spread through foreign media outlets. The truth is much more complex. Firstly, it’s not a four-day work week, but a 4.5-day work week. Secondly, it technically only applies […]

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