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Madam President

Arriving at Vigdís Finnbogadóttir’s house just before noon on Friday, I find a note on the door: “Anna, please wait! I’m on my way,” signed “ViFi.” I go back to…

I Left My Heart In Ittoqqortoormiit

Located at the mouth of Scoresby Sund—the largest fjord system in the world—Ittoqqortoormiit is so remote that supply ships can only reach it two months of the year, in July…
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The Exception That Proves The Rule

Earlier this year, artist Ragnar Kjartansson and composer Kjartan Sveinsson put on a particularly subversive production at Berlin’s Volksbühne theatre. At one of the most avant-garde theatres in Europe, they…

Editorial: Poop Ahoy!

Dear Grapevine readers and contributors who haven’t already heard, After nearly six years at this magazine, I’ve decided to vacate my position as editor. It’s been great, it really has.…
Photos of the mountain Herdubreid surrounded in poisonous clouds of sulphur dioxide gas emitted from the Holuhraun eruption. Herdubreid is located in the Ódádahraun desert and close to Askja volcano in the highlands of Iceland. September 14, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved

Which Way The Wind Blows

“This is what we call a ‘washing board,’” our guide Kormákur Hermannsson says, his voice barely intelligible as we jostle violently on the bumpy mountain road. Indeed it feels like…
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The Incumbent

Incumbent President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson is Iceland’s fifth elected president. If re-elected on June 30, he will become the longest-sitting president in the history of the Republic. For the first…
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Reykjavík Energy In Deep Water

Overrun by Viking ambition, Reykjavík Energy built headquarters fit for Darth Vader, expanded ambitiously, dabbled in tiger prawn farming and flax seed production, went into the fibre optics business, invested…
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Rehab Nation

In the United States, drug and alcohol rehab is closely tied to celebrity culture. It’s thought to be for people like Amy Winehouse, who died prematurely due to alcohol intoxication…


Browsing the news this past October, a headline on local newspaper Morgunblaðið’s website caught my eye: “Icelandic Girl In The New York Times.” My interest was stoked. Who was this…