Photo courtesy

Joanna Fontinha

Kaja Sigvarda

“The most beautiful thing is when the event unfolds. They’ve been on your phone and your excel sheet for a long time, but when people get together and meet each other, much of the worry disappears,” Asa said. Diradottir says, her eyes are brightened with expectations.

Ása stands in the middle of the main hall of Iðnó, surrounded by banners, signs and ladders. However, in just a short time, the space will be transformed into a “hub” at the Reykjavik Arts Festival, in which Asa is the project manager.

“The Festival Hub has been part of the Arts Festival for decades,” she explains. “It was dormant for a while, but revived in 2018 and is now a big part of the festival itself.”

“It’s a place you can enter at any time,” continues Asa. “All events are free and anyone can attend.”

Icelandic institution

The Reykjavik Arts Festival has been a highlight of the city’s calendar since its inception in 1970. The biennial event aims to constantly push boundaries, challenge norms, raise the bar for artistic excellence, and strengthen the relationship between Icelandic art and the international community. Through a new test run.

Asa sees the hub as a seamless continuation of the work of the entire festival, extending the concept and encouraging discourse. “Many events are linked to the main schedule, such as artist talks and panels related to larger events,” she says. “But we have also developed an artist acquisition model, which allows the space to be handed over to different groups and artists for 13 hours, and they can be programmed as they please.”

The range of artists participating in this acquisition scheme is wide-ranging, including choir / art group Kliður, youth dance group FWD, grassroots minority art group, REC Arts, and children’s organization Kidarchy. The latter group seized the fort on Iceland’s national holiday, June 17, with food fights, live music, water gun fights, and most importantly, “never boring” for all kids. We will host our dreamlike event. Speech or rule. “

Kidarchy will take over the festival hub on June 17th

The other side

It’s a packed schedule and has been working since October 2021. In addition to all the fun and frivolity, or perhaps everything is closely related, the Festival Hub also provides space for more serious discussions and discussion topics. One of the planned panels is about “art in the age of war” and another is working on the subject of climate change. Asa describes the role of the hub in providing a platform for this type of discourse as “very important and very important to us.”

“The theme of this year’s festival is’otherside’, which can be interpreted in different ways,” she explains in detail. “But I would like to emphasize the role of the Festival Hub in providing minority groups with a platform for experimenting with their artwork and projects, meeting and discussing them with others.”

“Especially today, everyone is thinking,’What can we do?’ We are trying to deal with the horrifying things that are happening,” continues Asa. “It doesn’t matter if it’s war, pandemic, violence or poverty. You’re always asking, can you use art for this? The only way to do that is with me, together. To use what we have together. “

The Reykjavik Art Festival Hub will open on Friday, June 3rd. See for more information.

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