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Music and environmentalism in Iceland

Nicola Dibben

Abstract

This chapter is a scholarly response to environmental degradation in Iceland. In recognizing the scope of the crisis, the chapter questions conventional wisdom in musical geography and offers a new vision for music’s potential in transnational futures. The chapter offers an argument for eco-cosmopolitanism as an alternative to place-centered approaches to the analysis of contemporary spatial experiences, suggesting that recorded music might help people see themselves as part of a global biosphere. The analysis includes a discussion of musical activism in response to the Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Project and offers two case studies, illustrating a topophilic and a biophilic conception of the national environment. The first case study is the 2007 documentary Heima (Homeland) about a free, unannounced concert tour by Sigur Rós and the second is Björk’s 2011 album Biophilia.

Citation

Dibben, N. (2017). Music and environmentalism in Iceland. In F. Holt & A.-V. Kärjä (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Popular Music in the Nordic Countries (pp. 163–182). Oxford University Press.

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Download this chapter via Oxford Handbooks Online.


Nature and nation: National identity and environmentalism in Icelandic popular music video and music documentary

Nicola Dibben

Abstract

Many Icelandic musicians have claimed that the Icelandic popular music scene has helped create a new Icelandic identity since the nation gained independence in 1944. This paper examines the character of that identity and its relationship to wider societal concerns in contemporary Iceland, in particular environmental politics and the conflation of nation with nature. This analysis reveals the ways in which popular music and its moving image are shaped by, and the varied responses they offer to, nationalism and globalisation.

Citation

Dibben, N. (2009). Nature and nation: National identity and environmentalism in Icelandic popular music video and music documentary. Ethnomusicology Forum, 18(1), 131–151.

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Download this journal article via the Ethnomusicology Forum website.

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