Iceland Airwaves Daily Blog Day 2 (11/1): Politics and Solidarity in Iceland

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After a hectic beginning to our Iceland trip, today gave me the chance to explore in solidarity. The morning was booked with interviews for the cultural stories I’m working on during the trip, with lots of wandering and walking in between.

Most of my interviews throughout the day focused on Iceland’s most recent election for my story on Iceland’s political parties fund themselves. The current election season in America has been incredibly stressful and tense, and Iceland’s latest election just passed, so talking politics was no problem.

It was incredibly interesting to hear new perspectives of the American election and how our elections are run. The general consensus was clear that the money put into American politics is extraordinary and unethical. Iceland’s political parties are largely government funded, and while the country’s leftmost parties rely on that and inner-party contributions, many of the country’s right parties receive much funding from corporations, like that in America.

These interviews will soon be turned into a piece that will be uploaded here, so stay posted for that. In the meantime, here is a clip from my interview with University of Iceland political science professor Ólafur Hardarson.

I also spent some time with Valmund Valmundsson of the Iceland Seaman’s Union to talk about the union and how they helped to support Iceland’s fishermen. The fishermen have threatened a strike for November 10th if an agreement is not reached with their shipowners. Valmundsson has been at the front of these negotiations, trying to make sure the price of fish is raised so the fishermen are paid more appropriately for their work. This story will also be up soon.

This was a much-needed day of isolation and reflection in Iceland. The time spent in between interviews was the first real moment I had to take in the environment around me. Being alone also gave me an opportunity to feel a closer part of Reykjavík, as if I was living alongside the Icelanders in the city. I am looking forward to these moments throughout the week, as my anticipation continues to grow for the Airwaves festival that starts tomorrow(!!!).

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