Wish You Were Here: Refinancing Iceland with Tourism – but at What Cost?

Arna Mathiesen

First published in uncube magazine, illustrated by Friðlaugur Jónsson.

Even today, departing and arriving is no small deal when it comes to Iceland. It was quite a feat in the ninth century to even find the country, lying as it does hundreds of kilometres from anywhere across rough seas. The settlers nevertheless managed starting a whole new life and keeping contact with the civilization they left behind for a few centuries. In the early thirteenth century, internal conflict weakened Iceland and it eventually became subjugated to Norway, which in turn was united with Denmark. Colonized and poor the locals got pretty much isolated on that island for a long time. Iceland finally regained sovereignty after World War I, on 1 December 1918, and it was not to achieve full independence until 1944.



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