Björk has responded to Minister of Industry Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir’s call for a meeting to discuss potential development of the Highlands of Iceland.
Following a press conference called by artist Björk Guðmundsdóttir and author Andri Snær Magnason, which launched an initiative to make the Highlands a national park, the Minister contended that Björk got some of her facts wrong about what the government plans to do with the area.
Björk has responded, in her trademark style in both Icelandic and English, to the Minister’s remarks.
“advocates of heavy industry here haven’t done much listening to the majority of the nation. you have mostly gone full steam ahead without asking anybody,” Björk wrote. “communication and transparency has not exactly been your forte when it comes to your plans, which are carried out in great secrecy. you act as if what you do to the country is irrelevant to icelanders, as if you know better.”
While pointing out that two-thirds of the nation support the idea of declaring the Highlands a protected area, Björk contends that the current process for environmental assessment is “farcical”, saying:
“our wilderness is in some kind of digital pop idol contest to find the area that can be best harnessed . kinda farcical because if for example they decide to allow half of the areas to be harnessed you might as well industrialize it all, it’s ruined. the sacredness would be broken.”
Björk says that leaving the Highlands alone would not only make better environmental sense, but better financial sense as well, pointing out the thousands of tourists who visit Iceland every year, in large part due to its pristine natural beauty.