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Iceland parties: Stefán Jónsson

June 14, 2010

 I caught up  with Stefán Jónsson before he departs Iceland for Ireland to participate in the Theatre Forum conference opening session:  

The Nordic countries are internationally recognised as those placing the most value on culture and the highest levels of state aid to the arts. Has the economic crisis threatened state support to the arts?

 I´m not so sure that Iceland can be fully included in the Nordic league, when it comes to state support to the arts. The economical crisis is affecting all sectors, how great the cuts will be is still uncertain, the latest figure I heard is 9% cut in the arts. The Icelandic Film Fund will be cut by 20-30%. The government is trying to avoid redundancies but salaries are being lowered. At the Arts Academy where I teach,  salaries have been cut by 4%.

 Do Icelanders really party 24 hours in the summer?

 Icelanders party 36 hours in the summer.

Would you like to comment on the ash?

The ash is our latest export, our currency. It´s a symbol of a party that went terribly wrong and a smoke signal to the whole world, a timely reminder that we are not the masters of this universe.

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