So this is the New Year. Aught nine. Seems pretty dark and rainy thus far, but then again most Icelandic years start out that way. And given the present situation, all the cold, rainy darkness seems to fit in perfectly with the sentiment of the times, which amounts to a sort of unknowing dread for what waits ‘round the corner for little old Iceland. One still gets the feeling that ringing in the New Year was a relief for most, that there is an unbridled joy in seeing 2008 fade and ultimately vanish in our collective rear view mirror. “Let us speak no more of this evil year,” they say.
But still. Even though the last couple of months really left a mark, we certainly saw a lot of good, excellent or interesting things happening in 2008 – stuff we shouldn’t forget if we can help it. Some awesome albums were released by formerly unknown artists (as well as a lot of established ones), a mass of fine literature and poetry saw publication, the local art scene kept on burgeoning and hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors graced our shores for the first time and had a fine time of it. And as per usual, politics and politicians were as callous, dumb and useless as we’ve come to expect.
In the spirit of celebrating the good things about 2008, and remembering the bad stuff (which makes for great lesson fodder for you observant types), we present the Grapevine 2008 Round up. So as to spare you readers our own amateurish opinions on 2008, we put together four expert panels on our favourite subjects: Music, Arts, Politics and Travel. Our panellists are all dedicated and active participants in their fields, and each and every one of them is a respected voice in his or her own right. We value their opinions, whether we agree with them or not, and so should you.
What follows are accounts of our panels’ series of conversations during the last days of 2008. Thanks to Hressó for the coffee, and all of these fine people for agreeing to help us shed a light on glorious 2008.
Read: THE POLITICS – THE MUSIC – THE TRAVEL – THE ARTS