Protest Through The Lens Of: Daniel P Scharneccia - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Protest Through The Lens Of: Daniel P Scharneccia

Protest Through The Lens Of: Daniel P Scharneccia

Published February 18, 2009

Daniel P. Scarneccia visited Iceland during the Rainbow Revolution. Below is his take. He enclosed this letter with the photos (note that after drinking coffee in the States, we highly disagree with his coffee-comment):
Hallo,
I’m an American who just finished up his first visit to Iceland.  I’m 
be the first to admit that I’m taking advantage of the weakness of the 
Icelandic Krona.  While typically a weekend in Iceland might have been 
within my reach, nine days certainly wasn’t, until October.  I must 
say that I my vacation turned out very different from what I 
expected.  Granted, I found everything I was told to expect. Beautiful 
scenery, beautiful (and friendly) people.  I visited museums and did 
the Golden Circle tour.  I found delicious food, a lot of history, and 
a lot people getting crazy drunk on the weekends.  Your beer sort of 
sucks and costs a lot, but granted, it was banned until 20 years ago, 
and I’m sure you have to import most of the ingredients.  You’ll 
figure it out, though I’m sure it’s not near the top of anyones list 
of priorities.  Oh, and you guys have awesome coffee.
I also found myself in the middle of a revolution, or something along 
those lines.  I had heard about the protests, but I never expected the 
level of activism I found in Reykjavík.  On Tuesday, as I was sitting 
down in a pub on Austurstræti to watch Barack Obama’s inauguration, 
Austurvollur was filling with people of all ages, demanding the ouster 
of a government which has mired the nation in debts which the people 
are going to be forced to repay.  Instead of spending hours in museums 
and on tours, I spent hours deep in chanting crowds, taking hundreds 
of photographs of them instead of the scenery.  I met activists, 
anarchists, philosophers, communists, and men and women from of all 
walks of life.  All of whom were willing to take a moment and explain 
their view of the situation.  I found myself writing and twittering 
about the situation, often pulling out my laptop in the middle of the 
street to write about the situation.  Friends at home informed me of 
the international media’s notable lack of reporting on the situation.  
I’m regretting leaving on Sunday, I should have extended my stay.  It 
seems if I had, I would have gotten to see the government fall.  It 
was all pretty inspirational.  Successful direct action is incredible 
to watch and take part in, and it seldom happens, especially back here 
in the States.
My vacation turned out to be nothing but average.  It was pretty 
incredible.  I’ve already booked a flight back for March, and I’m 
trying to sort out a way to come live in Reykjavík for the summer, 
though I’m sure the last thing you guys want is cheeky Americans 
coming and taking your jobs.
All that aside, the point of this odd e-mail is to share my 
photographs of the protests with you.
Let’s face it, you guys probably have thousands of photographs from 
local photographers, but I’m hoping for the cheap thrill of seeing my 
photographs in print or published on the web by someone other than 
myself.  It’s also a lame attempt to impress the woman in the orange 
scarf with her fist raised, because while I got her name and contact 
information, I didn’t have the fortitude to ask her to coffee before I 
left.  I’m not sure how that’s supposed to work, but at least I’m not 
kidding myself.  They’re all licensed Creative Commons Attribute, I 
hope you can use some of them.
Best Regards,
Dan Scarnecchia

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