Meltdown Iceland (2010)
Meltdown Iceland (2010)

As in many other debt-stricken countries, the taxpayer had to pick up the bill after the financial crisis in 2008. Debt accumulated by the few is now owed by many. The bill left to the Icelanders is inflation, tax increases and rising unemployment.

 

 The Eyjafjällajökull eruption on the 31st of March. Icelanders drive their jeeps to the glacier to watch.

The Eyjafjällajökull eruption on the 31st of March. Icelanders drive their jeeps to the glacier to watch.

 In Reykjavik cold-water swimming has become overwhelmingly popular after the economy collapsed. Swimmers make their way to the beach by the light of a police car.  ​

In Reykjavik cold-water swimming has become overwhelmingly popular after the economy collapsed. Swimmers make their way to the beach by the light of a police car.

Lena Thorvaldsdottir welcomes her nephew home for the winter holidays. Lena’s sister, her husband (background) and their children moved to Norway after the financial meltdown.
Lena Thorvaldsdottir welcomes her nephew home for the winter holidays. Lena’s sister, her husband (background) and their children moved to Norway after the financial meltdown.
 A light drizzle sprinkles the sea off of Reykjavik. On the waterfront, unfinished luxury apartments loom over the city.

A light drizzle sprinkles the sea off of Reykjavik. On the waterfront, unfinished luxury apartments loom over the city.

 Before the crisis, Valdís Thorkelsdóttir was touring the world with Björk. Now she performs mostly in Iceland, as touring expenses nearly doubled during the crisis. The upside is that the cultural scene on the island is now more vibrant than ever before.  ​

Before the crisis, Valdís Thorkelsdóttir was touring the world with Björk. Now she performs mostly in Iceland, as touring expenses nearly doubled during the crisis. The upside is that the cultural scene on the island is now more vibrant than ever before.

 Before the crisis, Valdís Thorkelsdóttir was touring the world with Björk. Now she performs mostly in Iceland, as touring expenses nearly doubled during the crisis. The upside is that the cultural scene on the island is now more vibrant than ever before.  ​

Before the crisis, Valdís Thorkelsdóttir was touring the world with Björk. Now she performs mostly in Iceland, as touring expenses nearly doubled during the crisis. The upside is that the cultural scene on the island is now more vibrant than ever before.

A hot spring at dusk in Krysuvik.
A hot spring at dusk in Krysuvik.
Nightswimming.
Nightswimming.
 Police tape warns of impending flooding as a result of the first eruption in Eyjafjällajökull. Einar Jón and Thorarinn Helgi play around it.

Police tape warns of impending flooding as a result of the first eruption in Eyjafjällajökull. Einar Jón and Thorarinn Helgi play around it.

 Ari Hultquist and his Finnish girlfriend Hanna Kaasalainen share a beer. Ari is half Swedish, half Icelandic. His nationality depends on  the topic or who is talking to. “Icelanders can be so narrow-minded”, he says.  ​

Ari Hultquist and his Finnish girlfriend Hanna Kaasalainen share a beer. Ari is half Swedish, half Icelandic. His nationality depends on  the topic or who is talking to. “Icelanders can be so narrow-minded”, he says.

 In a nightclub in Reykjavik, portraits of «the financial Vikings», the individuals responsible for Iceland’s misery, line the urinals.  ​

In a nightclub in Reykjavik, portraits of «the financial Vikings», the individuals responsible for Iceland’s misery, line the urinals.

 In some areas of Hafnarfjördur, a suburb to Reykjavik, half of the apartments stand empty. Soffía Stefánsdóttir’s newly built luxury apartment is one of the few that were finished before the construction company went bankrupt. She uses the derelict neighbouring apartment for storage.  ​

In some areas of Hafnarfjördur, a suburb to Reykjavik, half of the apartments stand empty. Soffía Stefánsdóttir’s newly built luxury apartment is one of the few that were finished before the construction company went bankrupt. She uses the derelict neighbouring apartment for storage.

O lavia Gudrun wants to move to Norway because two of her best friends already moved there with their parents. 
Olavia Gudrun wants to move to Norway because two of her best friends already moved there with their parents. 
 Hellisheidi is the largest geothermal power plant in Iceland, and is the main supplier of energy for the citizens of Reykjavik. The strong smell of acid permeates the air, sometimes even reaching the city.  ​

Hellisheidi is the largest geothermal power plant in Iceland, and is the main supplier of energy for the citizens of Reykjavik. The strong smell of acid permeates the air, sometimes even reaching the city.

 The aluminium smelter brought prosperity and hope to the East region. Another smelter is planned in the North, a region also struggling with depopulation.  ​

The aluminium smelter brought prosperity and hope to the East region. Another smelter is planned in the North, a region also struggling with depopulation.

  “Krepputorg” (meaning crisis-mall) is the nickname of the most oversized shopping mall in Iceland because it was built just before the collapse.

“Krepputorg” (meaning crisis-mall) is the nickname of the most oversized shopping mall in Iceland because it was built just before the collapse.

 Fishing boats from Rif on the way out to the fishing grounds.  ​

Fishing boats from Rif on the way out to the fishing grounds.

 The fishing boat «Esjar» on the fishing grounds outside of Ólafsvik.  ​

The fishing boat «Esjar» on the fishing grounds outside of Ólafsvik.

 The free hot pot in Nauthólsvik became increasingly popular after the crisis. Here you can get warm after swimming in the cold sea.  ​

The free hot pot in Nauthólsvik became increasingly popular after the crisis. Here you can get warm after swimming in the cold sea.

 Ólafsvik, with its strong fisheries, is one of the least affected communities in Iceland. A «dream municipality», according to those who live there.

Ólafsvik, with its strong fisheries, is one of the least affected communities in Iceland. A «dream municipality», according to those who live there.

5th graders in Ólafsvik follow the school’s religion class with more or less sincerity.
5th graders in Ólafsvik follow the school’s religion class with more or less sincerity.
Arndís Tómasdóttir tucking in her grandchildren, who are home for the holidays, on a mattress in her home office.
Arndís Tómasdóttir tucking in her grandchildren, who are home for the holidays, on a mattress in her home office.
The crises has unforeseen benefits. As people no longer can afford smoking and drinking, exercise has become a way to pass the time. The result is an overall increase in the nation’s health, says the national director of health.
The crises has unforeseen benefits. As people no longer can afford smoking and drinking, exercise has become a way to pass the time. The result is an overall increase in the nation’s health, says the national director of health.
Taking a break at a children's disco in Ólafsvik.
Taking a break at a children's disco in Ólafsvik.
The fertile volcanic soil of Iceland is a valuable resource for the farmers. 
The fertile volcanic soil of Iceland is a valuable resource for the farmers. 
 Icelandic horses in Hvalfjördur.  ​

Icelandic horses in Hvalfjördur.

 The Eyjafjällajökull eruption was a welcomed change of subject for the Icelandic people, momentarily distracting them from their economic hardships. 

The Eyjafjällajökull eruption was a welcomed change of subject for the Icelandic people, momentarily distracting them from their economic hardships. 

 The geologist Júlía Katrín Björke visits the geothermal energy field Reykjanesvirkjun with her friend Erna Knutsdóttir. Erna used to take busloads of tourists to this area, but due to overexploitation of geothermal energy the ground is collapsing and it is dangerous to walk around.  ​

The geologist Júlía Katrín Björke visits the geothermal energy field Reykjanesvirkjun with her friend Erna Knutsdóttir. Erna used to take busloads of tourists to this area, but due to overexploitation of geothermal energy the ground is collapsing and it is dangerous to walk around.

 Fish is the most important export commodity in Iceland. Most Icelanders are against EU membership because they are afraid to compromise their independence.

Fish is the most important export commodity in Iceland. Most Icelanders are against EU membership because they are afraid to compromise their independence.

Meltdown Iceland (2010)
 The Eyjafjällajökull eruption on the 31st of March. Icelanders drive their jeeps to the glacier to watch.
 In Reykjavik cold-water swimming has become overwhelmingly popular after the economy collapsed. Swimmers make their way to the beach by the light of a police car.  ​
Lena Thorvaldsdottir welcomes her nephew home for the winter holidays. Lena’s sister, her husband (background) and their children moved to Norway after the financial meltdown.
 A light drizzle sprinkles the sea off of Reykjavik. On the waterfront, unfinished luxury apartments loom over the city.
 Before the crisis, Valdís Thorkelsdóttir was touring the world with Björk. Now she performs mostly in Iceland, as touring expenses nearly doubled during the crisis. The upside is that the cultural scene on the island is now more vibrant than ever before.  ​
 Before the crisis, Valdís Thorkelsdóttir was touring the world with Björk. Now she performs mostly in Iceland, as touring expenses nearly doubled during the crisis. The upside is that the cultural scene on the island is now more vibrant than ever before.  ​
A hot spring at dusk in Krysuvik.
Nightswimming.
 Police tape warns of impending flooding as a result of the first eruption in Eyjafjällajökull. Einar Jón and Thorarinn Helgi play around it.
 Ari Hultquist and his Finnish girlfriend Hanna Kaasalainen share a beer. Ari is half Swedish, half Icelandic. His nationality depends on  the topic or who is talking to. “Icelanders can be so narrow-minded”, he says.  ​
 In a nightclub in Reykjavik, portraits of «the financial Vikings», the individuals responsible for Iceland’s misery, line the urinals.  ​
 In some areas of Hafnarfjördur, a suburb to Reykjavik, half of the apartments stand empty. Soffía Stefánsdóttir’s newly built luxury apartment is one of the few that were finished before the construction company went bankrupt. She uses the derelict neighbouring apartment for storage.  ​
O lavia Gudrun wants to move to Norway because two of her best friends already moved there with their parents. 
 Hellisheidi is the largest geothermal power plant in Iceland, and is the main supplier of energy for the citizens of Reykjavik. The strong smell of acid permeates the air, sometimes even reaching the city.  ​
 The aluminium smelter brought prosperity and hope to the East region. Another smelter is planned in the North, a region also struggling with depopulation.  ​
  “Krepputorg” (meaning crisis-mall) is the nickname of the most oversized shopping mall in Iceland because it was built just before the collapse.
 Fishing boats from Rif on the way out to the fishing grounds.  ​
 The fishing boat «Esjar» on the fishing grounds outside of Ólafsvik.  ​
 The free hot pot in Nauthólsvik became increasingly popular after the crisis. Here you can get warm after swimming in the cold sea.  ​
 Ólafsvik, with its strong fisheries, is one of the least affected communities in Iceland. A «dream municipality», according to those who live there.
5th graders in Ólafsvik follow the school’s religion class with more or less sincerity.
Arndís Tómasdóttir tucking in her grandchildren, who are home for the holidays, on a mattress in her home office.
The crises has unforeseen benefits. As people no longer can afford smoking and drinking, exercise has become a way to pass the time. The result is an overall increase in the nation’s health, says the national director of health.
Taking a break at a children's disco in Ólafsvik.
The fertile volcanic soil of Iceland is a valuable resource for the farmers. 
 Icelandic horses in Hvalfjördur.  ​
 The Eyjafjällajökull eruption was a welcomed change of subject for the Icelandic people, momentarily distracting them from their economic hardships. 
 The geologist Júlía Katrín Björke visits the geothermal energy field Reykjanesvirkjun with her friend Erna Knutsdóttir. Erna used to take busloads of tourists to this area, but due to overexploitation of geothermal energy the ground is collapsing and it is dangerous to walk around.  ​
 Fish is the most important export commodity in Iceland. Most Icelanders are against EU membership because they are afraid to compromise their independence.
Meltdown Iceland (2010)

As in many other debt-stricken countries, the taxpayer had to pick up the bill after the financial crisis in 2008. Debt accumulated by the few is now owed by many. The bill left to the Icelanders is inflation, tax increases and rising unemployment.

 

The Eyjafjällajökull eruption on the 31st of March. Icelanders drive their jeeps to the glacier to watch.

In Reykjavik cold-water swimming has become overwhelmingly popular after the economy collapsed. Swimmers make their way to the beach by the light of a police car.

Lena Thorvaldsdottir welcomes her nephew home for the winter holidays. Lena’s sister, her husband (background) and their children moved to Norway after the financial meltdown.

A light drizzle sprinkles the sea off of Reykjavik. On the waterfront, unfinished luxury apartments loom over the city.

Before the crisis, Valdís Thorkelsdóttir was touring the world with Björk. Now she performs mostly in Iceland, as touring expenses nearly doubled during the crisis. The upside is that the cultural scene on the island is now more vibrant than ever before.

Before the crisis, Valdís Thorkelsdóttir was touring the world with Björk. Now she performs mostly in Iceland, as touring expenses nearly doubled during the crisis. The upside is that the cultural scene on the island is now more vibrant than ever before.

A hot spring at dusk in Krysuvik.
Nightswimming.

Police tape warns of impending flooding as a result of the first eruption in Eyjafjällajökull. Einar Jón and Thorarinn Helgi play around it.

Ari Hultquist and his Finnish girlfriend Hanna Kaasalainen share a beer. Ari is half Swedish, half Icelandic. His nationality depends on  the topic or who is talking to. “Icelanders can be so narrow-minded”, he says.

In a nightclub in Reykjavik, portraits of «the financial Vikings», the individuals responsible for Iceland’s misery, line the urinals.

In some areas of Hafnarfjördur, a suburb to Reykjavik, half of the apartments stand empty. Soffía Stefánsdóttir’s newly built luxury apartment is one of the few that were finished before the construction company went bankrupt. She uses the derelict neighbouring apartment for storage.

Olavia Gudrun wants to move to Norway because two of her best friends already moved there with their parents. 

Hellisheidi is the largest geothermal power plant in Iceland, and is the main supplier of energy for the citizens of Reykjavik. The strong smell of acid permeates the air, sometimes even reaching the city.

The aluminium smelter brought prosperity and hope to the East region. Another smelter is planned in the North, a region also struggling with depopulation.

“Krepputorg” (meaning crisis-mall) is the nickname of the most oversized shopping mall in Iceland because it was built just before the collapse.

Fishing boats from Rif on the way out to the fishing grounds.

The fishing boat «Esjar» on the fishing grounds outside of Ólafsvik.

The free hot pot in Nauthólsvik became increasingly popular after the crisis. Here you can get warm after swimming in the cold sea.

Ólafsvik, with its strong fisheries, is one of the least affected communities in Iceland. A «dream municipality», according to those who live there.

5th graders in Ólafsvik follow the school’s religion class with more or less sincerity.
Arndís Tómasdóttir tucking in her grandchildren, who are home for the holidays, on a mattress in her home office.
The crises has unforeseen benefits. As people no longer can afford smoking and drinking, exercise has become a way to pass the time. The result is an overall increase in the nation’s health, says the national director of health.
Taking a break at a children's disco in Ólafsvik.
The fertile volcanic soil of Iceland is a valuable resource for the farmers. 

Icelandic horses in Hvalfjördur.

The Eyjafjällajökull eruption was a welcomed change of subject for the Icelandic people, momentarily distracting them from their economic hardships. 

The geologist Júlía Katrín Björke visits the geothermal energy field Reykjanesvirkjun with her friend Erna Knutsdóttir. Erna used to take busloads of tourists to this area, but due to overexploitation of geothermal energy the ground is collapsing and it is dangerous to walk around.

Fish is the most important export commodity in Iceland. Most Icelanders are against EU membership because they are afraid to compromise their independence.

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