From Iceland — Living Art Museum Calls For More Diversity In Icelandic Arts

Living Art Museum Calls For More Diversity In Icelandic Arts

Published September 25, 2020

Photo by
Atli Freyr Steinsson

With the Black Lives Matter movement sending shockwaves around the globe in recent months, and the spotlight being shone on the lack of diversity in the Icelandic National Theatre, The Living Museum (NÝLÓ) is working to reach a more diverse group of artists for an upcoming exhibition.

The Grapevine spoke to Chanel Sturludóttir, who joined forces with NÝLÓ as a project consultant, and Claire Paugam, a board member at the museum, to find out more. “It has become clear to the museum that it has not fully reflected the diverse growth that characterises art and human life in Iceland. As a first step in an attempt to promote diversity and participation for all, NÝLÓ’s board has decided to look further in their annual call for exhibition proposals.”

Not enough representation

Around 21% of Iceland’s population is made up of mixed Icelanders and immigrants, and whilst numbers are similar in other Scandinavian countries, Iceland’s representation of these, and other minorities, seems to be lacking. NÝLÓ hopes to be a powerful component in changing this.

Chanel states that, for too long, Icelandic society has felt that simply allowing minority groups to live and work in Iceland is enough. “They think that it’s enough to say ‘It’s always been this way, and foreigners are so new to the country.’” She continues, saying that with Iceland’s strong history of fighting for gender equality, their active engagement in politics and staging of protests, it’s clear that the country has a very strong sense of justice and community, and it will only take one voice to raise thousands more. NÝLÓ hopes to be that voice.

Applications now open

With this in mind, the museum is currently calling for proposals for a new autumn exhibition, concentrating on finding a more diverse group of applicants; amongst others, the queer community, Icelanders of foreign origin, mixed Icelanders, immigrant Icelanders and others who feel themselves on the fringes. “The aim of the call is to broaden the horizons of the board and introduce the diversity of the Icelandic art scene to the public”

Applicants who are chosen for the project will spend the next year working closely with NÝLÓ, to produce an exhibition which will run in the autumn of 2021. Applicants must send in an application form, accompanied by a CV and a 250 word proposal outlining the work they would like to do with the museum. More details and application rules can be found HERE

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.

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

Show Me More!