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Panama Papers Protest

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It's an alliteration! The biggest protest ever in Iceland (›22.000) took place today in wake of the revelations from the Panama Papers. Icelandic corruption is extensive and it is now more apparent than ever, that despite the praised "pots and pants revolution" in 2009 nothing has changed. The protest was calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister who was implicated in the Panama Papers, but there are increasing calls for re-elections.



Afterwards we met up to discuss ways to keep the momentum going and extending it to a movement for change and avoid the same outcome as 7 years ago.
Posted on - Categories: Politics


Ansel Adams inspired pictures of Borgarfjörður on Good Friday

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This Good Friday we went for an "outing" (as my ex-flatmate calls it). The weather was actually really sunny, but I had just seen a documentary on Ansel Adams, so instead of cheery and sunny I went for dramatic and black and white. Both pictures were taken with a wide lens (23mm), aperture of f8 (as large a depth of field I could get in this light from a moving car) with a red filter and increased contrast.



Spring?

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Birds are singing outside my window in the morning. The sun is shining and I stopped wearing long underwear. A part of me has difficulty believing that winter is really over and the rest of me feels like taunting Icelandic winter "you tried to brake me? Well, watch me enjoying the sun!"
Posted on - Categories: Iceland


Ófærð / Trapped and representation

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So I have been watching the acclaimed new Icelandic TV series Ófærð or Trapped for English speakers. It is a good Scandinavian crime/thriller kind of series in the style of Arnaldur Indriðason, complete with xis-gendered, male lead whose marriage just failed and whose career suffered due to a mistake, which haunts him, jadajadajada...
It captures the claustrophobia of snowed in Icelandic small towns pretty well. Having lived in Blönduós I feel I can make that assessment.
However, having lived in a small Icelandic town I was a bit disappointing with the only foreigners represented being criminals (a hilarious caricature of eastern European (Lithuanian) mafioso, I'm sure the 1,683 Lithuanians living in Iceland were pleased) or victims of human trafficking (because all black women are). There are no immigrants anywhere, despite the fact that there are 25.000 (7.4%) of us. In a cast of 30 (only counting Icelandic adults) there should be two immigrants if it were to represent Icelandic reality.
To any film makers in Iceland, I volunteer to be your foreign cast member, as long as it won't be a tourist, criminal or victim. Please acknowledge my existence...


Happy Beer Day!

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Today, 27 years ago beer was legalized again in Iceland, after several years of being the only alcoholic drink prohibited, due to a variety of circumstances.

Beer replaced spirits as the most popular drink in Iceland as soon as it was legalized and if you ever tried Icelandic Brennevín (also called Black Death, an Icelandic Schnapps) you can understand why.



Icelandic alcohol consumption has been mainly increasing in the past 27 years, a rather untypical development for a European country. There is currently a proposal being prepared by an MP of the Independence party to allow for alcohol to be sold in stores (atm the selling of alcohol is only allowed by the State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland), despite there being overwhelming evidence that availability of alcohol in stores leads to an increase in total alcohol consumption and especially heavy episode drinking. Binge drinking is already a problem in Iceland, with 1/4th of all adults engaging in binge drinking once a month and 1/3rd of drinkers only.

Having said all that, I am a fan of Icelandic beer and look forward to being able to walk to the store and get a beer when I feel like it.


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