Hello everyone! I’ve decided to resurface because I wanted to post this important interview with Elvira Mendez-Pinedo, a lecturer at the University of Iceland and one of the clearest voices out of Iceland these days. Here she’s discussing a book called Indignez Vous! that is making major waves throughout France and elsewhere, about things that should concern us all. In the book, the author talks about the domination of capitalism and how we have lost many of the civil rights that people in Europe fought for throughout history, how critical voices are being systematically silenced, the oppression of independent media, and much more.
The interview is in two parts. It starts briefly in Icelandic, but switches to English:
In this second part, she discusses – among other things – a subject close to my heart: silencing, or what the Icelanders call þöggun. In particular, she is referring to the silencing of things that have taken place in Iceland over the last two years and are still taking place. A few days after this interview was broadcast the president quietly signed a controversial new media bill that, among other things, gives a committee of individuals far-reaching rights to intervene in media companies [which may compromise the confidentiality of sources] and the potential to make documents secret for up to 110 [!] years. The government [PM and Minister of Education and Culture] have been busily trying to convince us that it’s really not worth making a fuss about and there has been a decided lack of response from the media itself, but somehow many of its aspects don’t sit well with me. I don’t want to get too hysterical about it because I honestly don’t know in practice how bad it is, but it’s certainly worth noting, particularly in light of what Elvira talks about.
The silencing of which she speaks, however, goes beyond this particular media bill, and it is something I have certainly experienced on my own skin. It’s something I want to write about in due course, here or elsewhere, but suffice it to say that in Icelandic society it is impossible not to be subject to overt or covert forces that want to keep you in check. You have to be very careful if you don’t want to be ostracized and have your opportunities to live and work restricted.
Anyway, here is the second part of the interview.
Thanks to Lára Hanna for posting to YouTube.