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Desoxification of environmental protection

There was a time when people talked about making climate issues sexy. In Reykjavik, poetry is enough to arouse commitment and attention.


5. June 2015, at the Nordic House in Reykjavik: Ein Fokker 50 comes low over Rádhusid, Norræna Husid and wetlands in front of the university. The domestic airport is a five-minute walk from Norræna Husid, a 15-minute walk from downtown Reykjavik. The tour goes over plateaus and wooden bridges built over wetlands: past ducks and geese on puddles and marshes. They breed the head between bodies and wings. The wind and cold will not go away. It only gets less thanks. It has been an unusually cold autumn winter in Reykjavik. Climate skeptics have caught fire. Other Icelanders respond, in surveys, that they do not fear global warming.

"The political and scientific language has played a role in the fight for climate," says Espen Røsbak. "That's why we have invited this Moving Summit of Oil and Literature. » The doors of the banquet hall open. Inside comes a park-covered tub with a backpack and a good deal of ridged hair. "Forgive," he says, "I just came off the plane," he says. «Welcome, we have just started. In Scandinavian. But now we will continue in English, »says Espen. "No, no, no," the American says, adding to the sounding Old Norse / Icelandic: "I'm called Rob. Please speak Scandinavian. I am learning! ”

What to do so that we learn. What do you need to do to get serious about us? Corleis is to be judged Icelanders, who in several surveys suggest that they do not see global warming as a problem, realize that climate change is making the sea acidic, and could mean the end to their fishing industry? "The political and scientific language has played a role in the fight for climate," Espen repeated, explaining to Rob and the others why this oil literature meeting came about: Now we have to try another language. Therefore, oil and climate issues are taken to the literary scene. Is there a language for climate? And why is it, even in the oil giant Norway, so little literature on, with or of oil? ”

Line Baugstø and Brit Bildøen asked the same question in January this year. The Climate Festival was organized by Nynorskens Hus, Spire, The Author's Climate Action and more, in Oslo. Established authors guided less established printers to a writing skill. The aim was to explore the boundary between literary and scientific languages, politics and art, to make art and to drive activism. Can strong language intermediaries help increase awareness and commitment to environmental issues?

Sure. I can't come up with any more interesting answers to this than quite safe. So let's turn to that. And see eighteenth to the pulpit at Norræna Husid. American bumblebee Rob finds his place and quietens. The bureaucrat from the Planning and Building Agency in Reykjavik Municipality, Hrönn Hrafnsdóttir, arrives at the pulpit. She brought with her five tightly written A4 sheets, and Espen Røsbak's "order": to say something about Iceland's relationship with oil. And art. Or something like that. Hrönn looks at an elephant in the back of the room and says, "They came here with oil. They floated here. We drove here. ” She works for a city where "all" Icelanders live. About 250 of around 000 people. One quarter of Icelandic energy goes to transport. Over seventy percent of fossil fuel consumption is used for transportation. In other words: Icelanders drive a car. The cars are big, have four-wheel drive and heavy engines, and run on gas and diesel, not electricity. With monster cars and mini trucks, the woman strikes above rivers and lava hrauns in Iceland. Hrönn can do little with the urge to force logs with motorized vehicles. Her domain is the city. And he has a plan for it: He will not build more suburbs. They should rather condemn those who think they are already. Must provide the services that people need. Must create more jobs in each district. Create more small towns. They want to shop locally and get a global impact. She will set bus ticket vending machines at the exits at workplaces in Reykjavik, and expand bicycle paths. She has experienced that it is difficult to get people to or ride in a city with as many rainfall days as Bergen. But she doesn't give up: "It gives hope to see Trondheim," Hrönn says. «More and more bikes in Trondheim. And there it is even colder than in Reykjavik, "she says, adding laconically:" Besides, it gets warmer. " In parallel with the rise in temperature, there is more wind and rain, and more often extreme weather.

"Extreme" has its ending and I call Icelanders their consumer culture. That was until the crash on October 8, 2008. Afterwards, consumption and materialism became unoptimized. It was about showing up in old woolly clothes, about reusing, and sharing culture was active. People shared busts and even cars. They traveled more in literature, and less on physical holidays: While production was declining on a general basis, increasing the number of published and sold books. The publishing industry had no crisis. On the contrary. To cultivate spiritual value was a win-win-win situation. Rumors of Iceland became better. The country came on top economically. Probably learned a lot of extra stuff too. Hrönn presents figures that show that consumption is at full speed again. That Icelanders have not learned as much as she hoped. But even though some of the consumer culture returns, the literature, language and book return to their position. Hips, so put Hrönn Reykjavik's city plan on the table: With a heavy one dump lands a textile-clad work that I have not seen the wife to my mother's side came from the Mammoth sale in 1992 with collect sagas in artificial leather:

Is there a language for climate?

The town plan is a three hundred page splash book with 120 grams of cream colored paper. Illustrated with full-color cartography and photographs, wrapped in textile-covered covers, extra, semi-covered dirt paper, and well with air around text and image. The book is strikingly expensive. One question that says: Running a city is also an art. Possibly: This is why Reykjavik is Unesco Literature City. We do everything literary. The one-off city plan is prosaic.

It is not breakthrough and hyperoriginal. The Norwegian journal Prosa, to be judged, reported NAF's road book and NAV form. NAV form and roadbooks. Without irony, but in great seriousness, and with the bookessaiist's mix of analysis and literary language. Poetic about pragmatics and bureaucracy materialized: forms, manuals, guides.

Reykjavik City plan 2010-2030 is published by Cryomaga, a publishing company specializing in magnificent books, art books and concept books. Publisher Kristjan is married to Gerdur Kristny, an author who, among others, was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2011 for the Blodhofnir poetry collection. Price range also has our Cryomaga books. Late last year, one of the debutantes won the Icelandic Literature Prize for a book of scans and contextual material from a newly found saga.

In Iceland, bureaucracy, politics and art are mixed. It is less about how one wins it, and more about what one wins. Of course, it doesn't start that way. When poet, comedian and shoe player Jon Gnarr formed The Best Party / Bestur party, the party platform was unusual and the election campaign was colored by music videos and artistic elements from speakers' chairs. But when the party won the election, the mayor and most seats at Rádhusid got, one thing was true: Keep the city and people healthy and naked. Get the kids to school, empty the boss, and care for the elderly and sick.

Some of the last thing Jon Gnarr did was sign the city plan 2010-2030. Then he traveled abroad and lived far away from his city, rebuilt the myth of himself as a celebrity and artist, and is said to be eighth in Reykjavik now.

But here he is not. Obviously, "oil and literature" does not engage Icelanders. The research money deira goes to research in the geothermal. But the results have not been so good. The technology they now have can only get 10 percent electricity from geothermal power. It's a little energy efficient way to make electricity. Nevertheless, they will not "sink" into oil. These have been where coal oil and coal were more important sources of energy. It's just not relevant again.

We are not many on this summit. So Espen Røsbak might as well invite everyone to a drink in the restaurant. "God bless the Norwegian government," Rob says, adding, "Cheers!" The heavy American lifts a small bottle of Eigils Gold, and takes such small sips of beer that it lasts the entire evening. From Booklyn, New York to a week in Iceland, before a trip to the in-laws in Germany.

It may be a form of indulgence. Representative gifts from us who got oil. Eighteenth: bread and circus for the people. And a couple of drinks. We have flown in from Bergen, Stavanger, Oslo – to talk about whether it helps to provide a language for climate problems. Are we hypocrites? Is this ironic? Not according to our calculator. We believe the winnings are bigger than the spins.


Oil and Literature – Reykjavik

  • Seminar held in Reykjavik on June 5, 2015 on the initiative of Stavanger's literary festival Chapter.
  • Participants included Árni Finnsson, Mette Karlsvik, Hrönn Hrafnsdóttir and Espen Røsbak (chairman).
  • The seminar was part of a series of seminars / events exploring oil, politics, industry and the environment with perspectives from art and literature.

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