Published July 26, 2018
Outsiderism is an interesting phenomenon. Whether it’s artists who operate outside of the mainstream, activists trying to influence political decision makers, or the equality and rights struggles of feminists, LGBTQI+ people and racial minorities, the concept emerges as a theme, in various forms, throughout the pages of this issue.
The annual controversy surrounding Iceland’s whaling industry was exacerbated this year by the killing of a rare hybrid whale, turning the eyes of activists around the world to Iceland. The government, headed up by a prime minister who trades on her environmental credentials, has so far been silent. Read our analysis of the situation here.
Meanwhile, the clash between the government and Iceland’s midwives seems to have reached its conclusion. Our cover star, artist Þrándur Þórarinsson, addresses the topic in his cover painting, commissioned for this issue. Þrándur—whose mother was once a midwife—is himself no stranger to outsiderdom. He dropped out of art school to study with outcast painter Odd Nerdrum, and after ten years of creating acclaimed, sharp-witted artwork is yet to exhibit in any of Iceland’s major art institutions. Read about his journey here.
And, of course, Reykjavík Pride occurs this month, when the city’s diverse and colourful queer community comes to the forefront—read our guide here. Alongside the glitter and parades, there are all kinds of events about everything from queer literature to lectures about masculinity and inclusion.
Amongst all of this, one thing is for certain: the faultlines, permeable barriers and friction points between the mainstream and those seeking to influence it is where the interesting things happen and culture evolves as a result. As you leaf through this issue, we hope you’ll agree.
Valur Grettisson is away.