The northern lights. These marvelous, beautiful lights that appear in the sky on dark winter nights. They take shape when fast-moving electrically-charged particles from the sun collide with atoms and molecules in the earth’s atmosphere. They are most common in northern regions as the auroral zone lies around the North Pole at a distance of around 2,000 – 3,000 kilometers from the magnetic pole – reaching across Iceland, among other places. These lights have danced over the heads of Icelanders for centuries yet it is only recently that they have become a part of the country’s branding in relation to the tourism industry. This branding attracts a group of tourists every winter looking for a magnificent natural experience but should it have an effect on the experiences of the locals?
Watch the trailer of the short film “Northern Lights”
Sounds from the kitchen
Guðjóna Albertsdóttir was born in 1916 in the village of Suðureyri in the Westfjords, where she lived with her family for almost all her life. She was an inventive, creative, and enterprising woman who took an active role in the development of the community she belonged to. Starting in 1980, she began to gather source material about her family, long-time friends, and herself, using the latest technology and science available at the time: the cassette tape. Sitting on the kitchen windowsill in her home was a big, black tape recorder that she used to record songs, stories, and conversations. In this video, some of those recordings are played alongside photographs from Guðjóna and her family’s photo album.
Watch the trailer of the short film “Sounds from the kitchen”
Waiting for the storm
During the winter and especially in the darkest hours when the sun can’t reach the town the weather plays a big role in people’s lives. This video shows in a slightly dramatic and ironic way what the atmosphere can be like before storms hit. The audible text in the video is some kind of instructions and advices that suggest how to behave when you are snowbound and separated from the rest of the world. These are not practical advices, like how to dig out a way, but an instruction for being in the state. The wind is blowing heavier, it becomes very strong. It fortifies over the ocean, wanting to spill the sea and shake the houses more than anything. Walk around the house, knock on the barometer and listen to the news. This is the last day of oxygen, go out and breath as much as you can, talk while breathing in. Sigh and nod, buy pasteurized milk, matches and bread to put the freezer. The tone of speech witnesses a strange feeling, which is imbued with anxiety of waiting and peculiar self irony, which people of this region often have. The video is full of beautiful winterscapes that add to the experience of what the winters can be like in the Westfjords.
Watch the trailer of the film “Waiting for the storm”