From Iceland — Letters


Published August 6, 2004


Being an English magazine in Iceland, your target audience is foreigners, and so it makes sense that you promote multiculturalism and take notice of racism that occurs in our society. I would like to offer some insight as to why racism exists, based on a personal experience I recently had. At the pool as I was swimming laps, several Southern European men lounged in the lane, ogled at me above and below the water attempting to see my private parts, and talked about me in such a lewd manner that I was forced to leave the lane. They later continued to make suggestive gestures from across the pool if I was looking in their direction. I felt degraded and extremely uncomfortable and this incident troubled me for the rest of the day. In light of this kind of experience, I am not at all surprised why foreigners are often treated with dislike. Maybe this kind of behavior is acceptable in the country where these men came from, but it is unacceptable here, and when this kind of culture clash occurs, a feeling of animosity towards the culture develops. By the way, I am a foreigner myself, but I have tried hard to fit in and keep my different customs from offending the residents of this country.
So, we´ve finally found the root of racism: ogling Italians. Perhaps Decode can now get to work on isolating the ogling gene, and then head south. Of course, no women should be in the party as they will no doubt be ogled unconscious before being able to administer the cure.
Hello there,
I have recently visited Reykjavík. During my visit I saw a photography exhibition entitled “Icelanders On Display”. The article by Marc Mettler in Grapevine issue 3 year2 fri 25 june – thu 8july 2004 led me to check it out. I really thought it was excellent. The purpose of the email is to find out if you can help me.
Is there any way I could purchase the photography?
I’d be grateful for any relevant information.
-Jane Powell
The book of the exhibition is available in bookstores.
Very good paper.
On the 17th of June I stopped by and got a poster from you of the disputed picture of the black woman in the national costume. Thanks a lot. I keep it on a cork board in my kitchen to remind me and my family that racism can exist in Iceland. However, this has aroused the jealousy of my brother and he asked me to see if I could possibly get him the picture as well. Do you still have posters? If that is the case, could I stop by and have another copy?
Best wishes,
Guðjón S. Björgvinsson.
Glad you like it and thank you for your support. Yes, we have a few posters left at Hafnarstræti 15.
Well done in providing a very interesting publication!
I had a look via Iceland Express website. The possibility of cheaper flights to Iceland is a real bonus to people like me who have been once, would love to visit more often, but been unable to afford it!
I know this looks like an IE plug, but it is in fact a genuine letter. At least we think it is a genuine letter.
Some responses from our survey:
I think you are a bunch of great guys… especially the designer. He´s a very cool guy and very cute. Cheers.
Höddi, I´m assuming you sent this in yourself. You won´t get any plane tickets, you know.
The Reykjavík Grapevine is a finely tuned intellectual mechanism. For me the focus seems to be to balance every aspect of what Reykjavík has to offer to non-Icelandic speakers. When I see the puzzled look in tourists´ eyes, it is my obligation to offer them a free copy of your paper.
Grapevine: A finely tuned intellectual mechanism. And cute too.
What an extremely intelligent and cool way to express yourself !!! Not only do you reach the elder folks by being “fashionably sensitive” with material chosen but also for the young you are “too cool to care” Hence you get the younger fascinated by humour, coolness and hip articles and the older ones intrigued with humour and real good material. In short…I´m amazed, this should be published in every country!!! My gratitude to all of you, this was much needed.
Fuck cool. We do care.
It is a very amusing and educational paper, it is great fun to read while I eat my hamburger or what I get from the kiosk 🙂 Keep it up, this is one of the most fun reads I´ve seen.
Grapevine also comes in handy when you´ve finished your burger and are in the process of processing it. And it comes in particularly handy after that.
I am very impressed with the changes you have made since last year, editorial and visual. Very good.
Our visual artist is more than a pretty face, then. Which is not as often said of the editor.
Well, it is English so many people can read it. it brings up interesting issues and is more interesting than local paper. you really give good articles on all kinds of staff that you will not find anywhere else. it is very unique and different paper. keep on hoing, i would not change anything
We will indeed keep on hoing. I presume.
More in depth reportage on social issues, politics and the economy would give to strangers a more comprehensive knowledge of Iceland. Give the possibility to strangers who work here or travels or whatever to contribute with some articles about what they do… Something that could be more open, so I can work for you!!!
We are indeed always open for contributions. Anyone out there wanting to write in depth reportage on social issues, politics and the economy?
I am actually not just visiting Iceland, I live here on a permanent basis. I really enjoy reading the Grapevine because it gives a fresh, new perspective on Iceland. I especially enjoy articles written by other foreigners living here. The paper has a multi-cultural feel to it that is sorely needed in this homogeneous country.
You´re too kind. Oh, go on, one more then.
This is a really useful paper for the visitor to Iceland. Its strong point is its humour and iconoclastic approach to life which make the whole damn thing an enjoyable read. I have read many similar EngLang papers around the world and most of them are seriously boring.
Anyone out there have anything bad to say about us? Where are the Nazis when you need them?

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!


Sour Grapes: HYPOCRISY!

Sour Grapes: HYPOCRISY!


Show Me More!