The explosion of interest in Icelandic culture is none the more apparent than in France, where a festival dedicated to the promotion of Nordic, and especially Icelandic culture has been quietly taking place over the last few years. Founded in 2007 by Ari Allansson, the 7th Air d’Islande Festival will be showcasing a variety of events with Icelandic and Nordic contemporary artists sharing the bill: concerts, Nordic cinema, exhibitions and a day at the Finnish Institute are all part of the program.
In cooperation with the legendary Iceland Airwaves Festival, popular Icelandic groups from Airwave’s fame – Rökkuró, Low Roar, Mammút and the singer Sóley will perform at the Point Ephemere on Jan 30th and 31st respectively.
A third evening of music at Point Éphémère will include various performances by Icelandic, Danish and Finnish bands. Erna Ómarsdóttir and Valdimar Jóhannsson, who tour under the stage name Lazyblood, will also be performing. Their special combination of theatre and music has been described as “a mixture of unique head-banging and screaming technic.” You can also catch them at the Centre Pompidou on January 25th, with a performance entitled ‘Wonderings on Borderline Musicals’ in cooperation with Festival Hors-Pistes and RIFF.
On the big screen, a panorama of Nordic cinema, as well as a selection of short films from Iceland will be shown on Feb 5th in partnership with Cinémathèque Française.
The festival wraps up at the Finnish Institute (February 6, 7 & 8) with a program of Icelandic-Finnish intercultural events including an Icelandic saga conference, workshops, documentaries, short films & videos, literary discussions and an enticing chance to sample traditional Icelandic and Finnish foods.
For more information, go to www.airdislande.org (in French)