60th Anniversary of the Department of Icelandic Language and Literature

In 2011-2012, we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Department of Icelandic Language and Literature with a series of major cultural events.  The program was launched in June 2011.


Book launch of Birna Bjarnadóttir’s Recesses of the Mind: Aesthetics in the work of Guðbergur Bergsson at the WSO New Music Festival February 3rd.


The WSO New Music Festival : The Nordic Edition 

January 28-February 3, 2012
This year the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra celebrates Nordic musical culture including works by the Icelandic composers Atlí Heimir Sveinsson, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Kjartan Sveinsson (of Sigur Rós), Daníel Bjarnason and Valgeir Sigurðsson. 


 Friday, September 16, 2011

1) Anniversary Lecture – Guðbergur Bergsson: “Exiles”.

Guðbergur Bergsson (1932) is a major European novelist and one of the leading inheritors of Halldór Laxness, Gunnar Gunnarsson and Þórbergur Þórðarson in Icelandic modern literature. He is also a prolific translator, and has enriched Icelandic culture with timeless masterpieces by Spanish, Portuguese and Latin-American writers, including Don Quixote by Cervantes. Guðbergur has received several major prizes and recognitions at home and abroad, including the Nordic Prize of the Swedish Academy in 2004.

2) Iceland's Artists and the Sagas, documentary by Helga Brekkan.

Helga Brekkan is an Icelandic filmmaker and journalist, based in Stockholm and Berlin. In celebration of Iceland’s Honorary Guest at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, the film will also be screened in several cities on the European continent. The film is produced by Gebruder Beetz Filmproduction in Berlin.

Place: Winnipeg, University of Manitoba, Icelandic Reading Room, Elizabeth Dafoe Library, 3rd floor.
Time: 8pm–9pm.

3) Filming the Icelandic Field School 2011 –  a short documentary, music by Matthew Patton

The documentary was shot during the 2011 Icelandic Field School, the Icelandic Department’s annual summer course held in Iceland.
Place: Winnipeg, University of Manitoba, Icelandic Reading Room, Elizabeth Dafoe Library, 3rd floor.
Time: 9pm–9:15pm.

In addition to the University of Manitoba Department of Icelandic Language and Literature's Pall Gudmundsson fund, this evening's events are co-sponsored by The Icelandic Collection, Elizabeth Dafoe Library  


Sunday, September 18, 2011

1) Writer with a Camera – a documentary on Guðbergur Bergsson by Helga Brekkan.

The film (released in 2004) is a kind of writer’s autobiography. It draws, in large part, on several super–8 films that were shot by Guðbergur Bergsson himself, both in Iceland and on the European continent. His hometown Grindavík forms the heart of the matter. Other sites are Reykjavík, Madrid, Lisbon and Stockholm.

Place: Gimli, Waterfront Centre, New Iceland Heritage Museum, 94-1st Avenue
Time: 2pm–3.30pm.

2) Opening reception of Guðni Þorbjörnsson’s photo exhibit: Where the Mountains Meet the Sky. Westfjords – Iceland, in collaboration with the New Iceland Heritage Museum.

Guðni Þorbjörnsson, the pilot and the photographer, lives in Mosefellsbær, Iceland, where he works as a graphic– and commercial designer. In 2001, he became a private pilot. He is a holder of the JAR international pilot license and an owner of a small private aircraft. He has been interested in photography since childhood and has found a way to combine his flying with the art of taking pictures from his aircraft. “When flying”, he says, “ I get to know magnificent landscapes that have no parallel in the world. The Westfjords in Iceland are dear to me, and that is where I love to fly and take pictures. My best memories are from that region. The scenery is majestic, bleak and embracing, all at once. I have landed my plane in many remote places, such as Hornstrandir, Aðalvík, Fljótavík and Reykjarfjörður. Everything there is unbelievable.” (See poster).

Place: Gimli, Waterfront Centre, New Iceland Heritage Museum, 94-1st Avenue
Time: 4pm–6pm.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Diddú og drengirnir (Diddú and the boys) – a concert, featuring both Icelandic and “foreign” music performed by some of Iceland’s leading musicians: Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir, soprano, Sigurður Ingvi Snorrason and Kjartan Óskarsson, clarinets, Emil Friðfinnsson and Þorkell Jóelsson, horns, and Brjánn Ingason and Björn Árnason, bassoon. (See photograph).

In addition to the University of Manitoba’s Department of Icelandic Language and Literature, the concert is sponsored by Iceland’s Ministry of Science, Education and Culture, Iceland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iceland Symphony Orchestra Project Fund, and Reykjavik Loftbrú.

Place: Gimli, Waterfront Centre, Johnson Hall, 94-1st Avenue
Time: 8pm–10pm.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book launch – a book of fragments.

This is a collection of texts by Birna Bjarnadóttir, with a foreword by George Toles and illustrations by Cliff Eyland, Guy Maddin and the Iceland based artist Haraldur Jónsson. The book is published by the Icelandic Department's Kind Publishing, and designed by Becky Forsythe. The gallery version of the book is designed by Cliff Eyland, and has been shown in four places in two continents: New York Art Book Fair, New York, November 7-9, 2010; the Reykjavík's Cultural Night, Reykjavík's City Library, August 21, 2010, and at the opening of Art in Translation, International Conference on Art and Languages, University of Iceland, May 21-23, 2010, held at the Nordic House, Reykjavík. The fourth exhibit of the book's gallery version is now featured at Cliff Eyland's solo exhibition at Guervich Fine Art, Winnipeg (September 9th-30th, 2011).

Place: Winnipeg, McNally’s Bookstore in Prairie Ink Restaurant, Grant Park Shopping Centre, 1120 Grant Avenue.
Time: 8pm–9.30pm.  


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Anniversary Concert – Diddú og drengirnir: “Icelandic Songs from the New World”.

Performers:. Diddú og drengirnir (Diddú and the boys): Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir, soprano, Sigurður Ingvi Snorrason and Kjartan Óskarsson, clarinets, Emil Friðfinnsson and Þorkell Jóelsson, horns, and Brjánn Ingason and Björn Árnason, bassoons.

The concert is dedicated to the music written by Icelandic–North American composers. In recent years, the music of nineteenth and early twentieth century Icelandic immigrants in North America has attracted increasing levels of attention. But there is still much to be done in terms of collecting, preserving and publishing the works of the composers and songwriters who were widely recognized during their time. In this concert, both forgotten and known songs will be heard in transcription for voice and wind sextet.

In addition to the University of Manitoba’s Department of Icelandic Language and Literature, the concert is sponsored by Iceland’s Ministry of Science, Education and Culture, Iceland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iceland Symphony Orchestra Project Fund, and Reykjavik Loftbrú.

Place: Winnipeg, First Lutheran Church, 580 Victor Street.
Time: 4pm–6pm.


Saturday, June 18-September 5, 2011   Authors and Landscapes of Iceland photo exhibit - Jóhann Páll Valdimarsson   Place : New Iceland Heritage Museum, Waterfront Centre, 94-1st Avenue, Gimli, Manitoba 

 

Gullfoss

þingvellir

Iceland 2008

photography by Guy Maddin