Bringing It All Back Home PDF Print E-mail
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Written by grapevine.is   
Friday, 17 December 2010 03:00
Bringing It All Back Home

In the 1960s, pop music in Iceland was often referred to as
Bítlatónlist (“Beatle music”) and today many even speak of Bítlaárin
(“Th e Beatle years”). Despite the proximity of the American Naval
Base and US Armed Forces Radio, musical influences here mostly came
from the UK.

Some say that this was because the rough sailor types of Keflavík
(known as Bítlabærinn or “Beatletown”) found a kinship with the scene
in Liverpool, others that it was because most Icelandic musicians went
to London to buy records unavailable here. In any case, Bob Dylan and
folk rock made relatively little

...

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 November 2011 23:22
 
Low Voter Turnout, Mixed Messages PDF Print E-mail
Written by grapevine.is   
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 03:00
Low Voter Turnout, Mixed MessagesOn November 27, Icelanders partook in an unprecedented election when the nation voted representatives for a Constitutional Assembly that will convene in February.
 
The assembly’s task is to rewrite the Icelandic Constitution, originally handed down to us by the Danish colonial masters in 1874—hence the statue of a Danish monarch with a piece of paper in front of the Prime Minister’s office.
 
This assembly will present its resolutions to the Parliament at the end of its sessions, but it also has the power to force Alþingi’s hand by calling for a national referendum on its propos

On November 27, Icelanders partook in an unprecedented election when the nation voted representatives for a Constitutional Assembly that will convene in February.

The assembly’s task is to rewrite the Icelandic Constitution, originally handed down to us by the Danish colonial masters in 1874—hence the statue of a Danish monarch with a piece of paper in front of the Prime Minister’s office.

This assembly will present its resolutions to the Parliament at the end of its sessions, but it also has the power to force Alþingi’s hand by calling for a national referendum on its proposals.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 January 2011 23:43
 
From Farm to Fork PDF Print E-mail
Written by grapevine.is   
Sunday, 12 December 2010 03:00
From Farm to ForkRummaging through boxes of vegetables in a local supermarket recently, I noticed something on my quest for the holy trinity of quality and freshness at an affordable price. The level of debate going on amongst shoppers about the quality of vegetables relative to their cost seemed to be greater than for any other food types. Perhaps it's due to the rising popularity in trends for vegetarianism, veganism and more eco-conscious lifestyles? Perhaps the tighter squeeze on everybody’s pockets has led us to question what we are prepared to spend? Perhaps people are just feeling more patriotic and want to question their food sources more?

The cost of importing food is rising, particularly in the case of vegetables. Figures from Statistics Iceland show that the consumer price index (the CPI tracks the price consumers pay for a basket of everyday products) for the category of vegetables has risen steadily on average since January of 2008. The index peaked at 150 points in April this year, leading to an overall increase of 50% in the price of vegetables in less than three years. I set out to investigate why we consumers end up paying the price we do for Icelandic vegetables, and as a consequence came across some curious trends happening within the industry as a whole.

Supply and demand

...
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 02:15
 
Let's Talk PDF Print E-mail
Written by grapevine.is   
Thursday, 09 December 2010 03:00
Let's TalkOn the morning of November 6th, the entrance to Borgarleikhúsið could have easily been mistaken for a busy New York sidewalk. People from every corner of the world had assembled to converse in several languages about the common bond they share; they each call Iceland home. The coffee was hot and the spirit was communal as the assembly was warmly welcomed to the first Reykjavík Multicultural Conference organized by the city’s Mayor, Jón Gnarr.

THE FIRST MULTICULTURAL CONFERENCE

Attendance exceeded expectations with over 160 city residents of foreign origin meeting for two purposes: to elect a five-person panel to advise the city’s Human Rights Council and to discuss the how the city can better serve ‘new citizens’ living in Reykjavík. This is the first meeting of this type to take place in Reykjavík where almost 10.000 city residents are foreign born. The event’s announcement was vaguely worded, inviting foreigners to discuss Reykjavík’s "efforts to improve its services for immigrants." Staged as a round table discussion, and divided by language, the question and answer format was well organised and very structured. The format left little time to voice concerns about fundamental issues such as discrimination, specific instances of injustice, and overall bias in our community, causing some—who had been hoping to address them—to leave at the first break.

...

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 02:02
 
SEEDS Of Revolution PDF Print E-mail
Written by grapevine.is   
Tuesday, 07 December 2010 03:00
SEEDS Of RevolutionThey creep so subtly under the radar that it’s easy to miss them. Like invisible elves bustling about, fixing up properties and green spaces in your rural villages, building and maintaining huts and trails in your national parks, organising cultural projects in your community spaces, building playgrounds in your housing estates, and picking up litter on your beaches.
 
Each division spends two weeks at a time on duty, living together and working long days, in all sorts of weather and on various missions. So who are these people? Truth is they aren’t fairies, most of them aren't Icelandic, and what’s more they do it all for free.

INTRODUCING: SEEDS

Who are we talking about? Time to introduce SEEDS, a non-profit organisation headed by Columbian Oscar-Mauricio Uscategui, which was set up in 2005 in order to host foreign volunteers on social and environmental projects in Iceland, and also organise a place for Icelanders in similar projects broad.

But why do people come from all over the world to work on a range of social and environmental projects in Iceland? There’s no financial incentive, in fact volunteers have to pay a small fee to cover the cost of the projects they work on.

...
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 02:09
 
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