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Events 10 | 2011

Sun, Oktober 09, 2011
Andri Snær Magnason: Dreamland A Self Help Manual For A Frightened Nation

Reading with Andri Snær Magnason
at ZKM_Lecture Hall, 6 p.m., free admission, reading in English

Information auf Deutsch

Iceland is a Nordic tourist’s dream, steamy geysers amidst a surreally beautiful landscape, elves, trolls, Pop music. Yet most recently, Iceland stands for a bankrupt nation, destruction of nature, and as a result, a decisive rejection of the political establishment. One of the actors of the creative coup on the island, the 39-year-old writer Andri Snær Magnason, details in Dreamland what is behind it all.
His book reads like a parable: the stage is spectacular, yet the pattern is familiar. In a combination of future angst and blind faith in progress, a people is blackmailed into selling its natural treasures for short-term profits in the aluminum industry. Angry, with a good portion of irony, Magnason dissects this technocratic nightmare. He demystifies terms such as “prosperity,” “economic growth,” and “clean energy,” which have stifled every honest debate about social alternatives.
The “self-help book for a frightened nation,” as the subtitle reads, was the subject of much discussion in Iceland, where the bestseller landed in every fourth household. It has been translated into several languages and made Andri Snær Magnason into a sought-after partner far beyond Iceland in discussions of ecology and economy. Dreamland is an extraordinary work of nonfiction entertaining, poetic, and nevertheless uncompromising on the subject. The reading will take place in the English language.

Andri Snær Magnason, born 1973 in Reykjavík, author of works of poetry, children’s books, novels, and dramas, is one of Iceland’s most diverse writers and at times achieves uncommon breakthroughs in saying what he has to say. By selling his books of poetry through a supermarket chain, his editions have sold in record numbers. At his request, in 2006, all lights in Reykjavík were shut off for half an hour, while an astronomer explained the stars to radio listeners. In 2009, Magnason co-directed the filming of his bestseller Dreamland, which has been successfully shown at many international film festivals. In 2010 he received the prestigious KAIROS prize from the Alfred Toepfer foundation.

Andri Snær Magnason © Christopher Lund

- subject to change-

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