Jan 14 2006
1 Comment

Saving Iceland Interview with Björk

The interview was conducted at the time of the Stop the dams! gig in January 2006. Björk is an internationally acclaimed musician and has often spoken out against the heavy industry policy of the Icelandic government. Björk will be joining the international protest camp near Kárahnjúkar this year.

Josie Demuth: What, for you, makes Icelandic nature so special that you want to stop it’s destruction and participate in this concert?

Björk: It is the largest untouched area in Europe and I feel it is not only my duty to speak out as an Icelander but as a European. The situation has reached a cross roads, Iceland’s economy which was 70 per cent fish went down, so what instead? The attention went from the sea to the land. Fifteen years ago they stopped building a dam in the 1970s because people spoke out and there were artistic protests. But now in 2005 there is this industrial revolution and this way of thinking to sacrifice nature for progress. They are not long term benefits and we can do so much more with nature. We can work with nature, for example, hotels have been put up all over Iceland, and there are tourist centres to tell tourists about the nature. We will not be able to rewind this natural destruction and as I’ve travelled I’ve begun to realise that this is not a modern way of thinking. 50 years ago were independent but what are we gonna do in 100 years now? We are not making progress with this.

JD: Obviously you’re a massive Icelandic Icon, every time I come to Iceland everyone’s like ‘say hi to Bjork’, so therefore it’s really important in terms of raising awareness you taking part in this concert. You’ve been active in the past and by talking to most Icelanders everyone seems to know your view on the situation but there seems to have been quite a bit of time since you made a statement as big as being in this concert. Is there a reason for this?

Björk: I try to be a musician and as a spokesperson for nature I’m an amateur. Connections between pop stars and politics can be very corrupt. However, I may be amateur in a lot of ways but I what I do have experience of is being an Icelander abroad and I know that this is a very un fashionable way of thinking. It’s not… I don’t know.. Fashionable?.. Modern?..

JD: Yeah.. It’s not cool!

Björk: Right, and for Iceland to give up it’s nature is like for me to give up my singing and become a dentist.. It doesn’t make sense! You know, I’ve always believed that musicians should make music and bakers should bake bread etc. I will only speak out in an emergency and we are in an emergency now! A few years ago it was higher than 60 per cent of Icelanders who were against the dam and now with all the ecological problems they are having up there at the moment it would probably be an even higher number against it now.

JD: So what are your hopes for this concert?

Björk: I would like everyday people, the common Icelandic person to find a voice, to decide how our grandchildren are going to live because this could be a totally different country by then, you know. I see this concert more as a first step. However it’s a big one.


One Response to “Saving Iceland Interview with Björk”

  1. Iceland is so beautiful also like Mèxico. but the Goverments we don`t understand “we most to go back in te 80`s Culture” i mean like all products liquid for example we made in GLASS also all the world need to change to ecologic products. organic products and all the stores of the countries need to recolect this packs refound like in Germany. the pack of plastic we most to finish this kind of packs envolture.
    Also we need to finish to oil supply and change to electric supply or ecologic oil.
    we need now energy form the sun supply and recycled pfound. also to separate the trash and make a process machine to save this pack colected. and turn off the demand of products we made new a very more less. we need to choice the culture recycled. this is a big step with evolution of 2012. you can see the best stores from Mèxico is like “The Green Corner”.