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Friday, 12 November 2010 03:00
StrandedIn some ways, the case of Medhi Kavyanpor is typical of many asylum seekers in Iceland.
He fled Iran in 2005, leaving behind a wife and child, paying a smuggler an exorbitant sum to get him safe passage to Canada, only to be ultimately stopped in his tracks in Iceland.
Once here, he waited through countless appeals to the institutions that deal with asylum seekers for any decision on the matter to be reached.
What makes Medhi's case exceptional is just how long he has been made to wait: it was not until mid-October that a decision was reached on his case, making his the longest wait of any asylum seeker to Iceland.

Medhi will not be sent back to Iran, but this is only after years of appeals, a hunger strike, and vows to sooner commit suicide than be deported. This is despite the fact that Article 19 of Dublin Regulation II—Europe's controversial and much criticised agreement on the treatment of asylum seekers, of which Iceland is a signatory—specifically requires that either deportation occur “at the latest within six months” or that the application process for asylum be completed within “a maximum of one year”.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 01:24
The Best Show I Witnessed At Iceland Airwaves 2010, And Why It Was The Best Show I Witnessed At Iceland Airwaves 2010 PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 11 November 2010 03:00
The Best Show I Witnessed At Iceland Airwaves 2010, And Why It Was The Best Show I Witnessed At Iceland Airwaves 2010So we did it again. We compiled a team of music lovers-slash-misanthropes to review every single show of the official Iceland Airwaves programme. Every last musician that played the festival in an official capacity can head to and read what a particular person at a particular point of time, bearing a particular mindset, has to say about his or her particular performance at that particular festival.

"Why would you do this?" you ask. "Does anyone really need to read reviews of every single show at Airwaves?" you continue.

Well. We did this mostly because we could. We've done it in years past (in print form from 2005-2008, on-line last year and this year), and it's always been a fun part of the festival, whether you're playing there or just attending for fun. You get to re-live your previous evening via the words of some writer who documented the venue that entire night (and through the lens of that photographer who was always hogging the best spots, getting in your way). And you maybe don’t agree with the writer’s assessment, and you may not be familiar with the photographer’s angle, but they still serve as starting points for some sort of conversation, whether it be with yourself or your friends or maybe the letters/comments section of the Grapevine. And we are big fans of inciting conversation, of fanning the flames of discourse.

And discourse doesn’t always have to be about super important life or death political stuff. It can also be about dumb, fun stuff. Like music.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 01:33
What could have been better about Iceland Airwaves 2010 and why! PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 11 November 2010 03:00
What could have been better about Iceland Airwaves 2010 and why!Hate brings out the best in people. Or at least in writers. You know that. Bad reviews are so much more fun to read than the good ones. LOL. So we thought that aside from asking our Airwaves team to pick their favourite performances at Iceland Airwaves 2010, we should also ask them to tell us ‘What could have been better about Iceland Airwaves 2010, and why’. Their responses follow.

An oversimplification of taste by Valgerður Þóroddsdóttir

There was a tendency on the part of the festival organisers to group together “likeminded” bands on the venue line-ups, resulting—in particular—in mostly all the Icelandic bands being scheduled together. This approach was something of an oversimplification of taste, I think; people are not such sticks in the genre-mud. If the festival can’t convince people to venture outside their perceived ‘comfort zones’, I think it ought to trick them into doing so. By having more diverse line-ups.

MORE ROCK AND ROLL PLEASE by Anna Margrét Björnsson

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 01:42
Icelandic Volcanoes – HOW DO THEY WORK?!? PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 09 November 2010 03:00
Icelandic Volcanoes – HOW DO THEY WORK?!?In the last week or so, there’s been a lot of speculation and rumour flying around about the potential for an eruption of Grímsvötn.
Firstly, I should say that this is still a distinct possibility. Secondly, I should say that in the field of volcanology, nothing is ever certain, so you have to take any news with a pinch of salt.
But my biggest issue is with a lot of utterly uninformed reporting, quoting all sorts of old bollocks, not just about Grímsvötn, but Icelandic volcanoes in general.
 And frankly, it’s time a couple of these misconceptions were laid to rest. So, allow me to take your mind for a wander through some real science – or at least, science we think is correct at the moment – and we’ll see what we can do about that.

Question one: So, Eyjafjallajökull screwed up all our airspace. Another Icelandic eruption means another messed up holiday season, right?
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 01:50
Winter is Here - No Need for Despair PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 08 November 2010 03:00

Winter is Here - No Need for DespairLearn to love it now. You'll need to if you want to retain any semblance of sanity
Winter is upon us, huh. Dark, cold, wet, dark and dark. And dark. Unless you just arrived here fresh faced, and totally oblivious to the fact that you are now located on the dark, cold, wet edge of the Arctic Circle, you will know quite well that it entails being engulfed by dark darkness. Not to mention coldness. And wetness. That your beloved tan will fade from pale to grey to translucent.

That venturing between buildings will be an arduous task that you will spend more time dreading than executing. That you will have a harder time waking up in the suffocating morning blackness of winter than you had falling asleep in the eternal summer sunshine of a couple months back.

Don't worry, though. Icelandic winter with its darkness and coldness and wetness can be hard to cope with for sure, but this only means that the people that have had to cope with it for generations have spent a lot of time and effort learning how to cope with it, to deal with it, and finally to love it.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 01:57
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