Women of The World Festival Drop Icelandic Event Following Protests - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Women of The World Festival Drop Icelandic Event Following Protests

Published March 10, 2017

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photo by
South of Forgiveness/TED Talks

The Women of the World Festival has dropped an event featuring award-winning Icelandic author and activist Þórdís Elva Þorvaldsóttir and Tom Stranger from their programme, reports Vísir.

The event, South of Forgiveness, was due to take place tomorrow at London’s Southbank Centre but has been pushed to after the festival after a petition with over 2000 signatures called for it’s cancellation.

In the event Þórdís Elva confronts Tom and invites him to assume full responsibility for raping her when he was 18 years old and living in Iceland as an exchange student. A responsibility he then owns up to.

Campaigners argued that the event would be triggering and that staging the event as part of a women’s festival would “encourage the normalisation of sexual violence instead of focusing on accountability and the root causes of this violence”.

Even if much of South of Forgiveness focuses on Tom becoming accountable.

Þórdís Elva and Tom’s publisher, Scribe, sent a statement to Metro saying the pair “are very clear that their story is only theirs; they in no way wish to present their lives as typical or to prescribe any recommended response to rape. Nor do they wish to cause renewed pain in those who have suffered. Others will have their own experience of rape and its aftermath, and as Þórdís has said: ‘Nobody has the right to tell anyone else how to handle their deepest pain.'”

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