Most popular in 2015

Important, insightful, inspiring, heartwarming, heartbreaking, shocking and even terrifying are all words that can be used to describe the stories, interviews and columns we brought our readers in the past twelve months.

Sadly there were accounts of queer bullying, domestic violence, injustice, deep-rooted prejudice, stigmatizing” labels and discrimination with in the Icelandic health care system. But there were also plenty of “positive” stories this year, stories about festivals and celebrations and exciting new events, victories, breakthroughs, new medical possibilities for queer people, increased education on queer matters and heroic actions (for example this one, this one and of course this one – just to name a few). However they weren’t necessarily the most read stories.

Here are the ten articles you clicked on the most in 2015.

10. Erotic movie shot in Iceland

A still from the short film Corpuscle by Exotica Loom, an art collective that Lola has along with the artist Mariana Echeverri.
A still from the short film Corpuscle by Exotica Loom, an art collective that Lola has along with the artist Mariana Echeverri.

Feminist activist and awarded porn director Lola Clavo planned to shoot an erotic film in Iceland last summer and was on the look out for non-professional, queer performers.

 


9. Prejudice?

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Members of the queer community discussed prejudice.

Icelanders pride themselves in being “accepting” and “non-judgemental” and one of the leading countries when it comes to queer rights. Some even say that the “acceptance” in the society is so much that there is no more need for Reykjavík Pride. That the fight is over. But what does the queer community itself say. Is there still prejudice in Iceland? And how does it show itself?

 


8. Love yourself

Vífill Harðarson (to the far right) has traveled all around the world with his family. This picture was taken when they were in Vietnam last year.
Vífill Harðarson (to the far right) has traveled all around the world with his family. This picture was taken when they were in Vietnam last year.

In a sincere and heartwarming video on YouTube, Icelandic teen Vífill Harðarson encourages everyone to love and accept themselves whether they’ll come out of the closet or not, for that is the only way to go through life. Vífill decided to make the video after speaking to queer teens from all around the world and finding out how many suffer from low esteem.

 


7. Gay Muslims can marry

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The former chair of the Association of Muslims in Iceland says it is a misunderstanding that homosexuality is condemned in the Koran.

After the attack on the editorial office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the Copenhagen shootings this year Icelandic Muslims experienced growing prejudice. The then chair of the Association of Muslims in Iceland said in an interview with Gay Iceland that he was tired of generalisations being made about Muslims, such as that all Muslims are homophobic, which he claimed to be absolutely false. In fact, if asked, he would assist gay Muslim couples to marry.

 


6. Local boys open up

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Elska is a British publication sold internationally. Photo/Liam Campbell

A new gay erotic magazine, Elska, hit stores in September. It’s Icelandic title caught our attention and so we interviewed the editor, Londoner Liam Campbell, about the British magazine and his passion for Iceland.

 


5. For the settlement queens

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Each year  thousands of people show up for the Reykjavík Pride Parade. Many can’t wait to say Páll Óskar’s float. Larger photo/Sigurþór Gunnlaugsson

Pop singer Páll Óskar “sailed” a twelve meter long pink Viking ship at this year’s Reykjavík Pride parade. The idea he said was to bring attention and pay respect to all the queens who have been silenced throughout the centuries in Iceland, ever since settlement.

 


4. Elska shot in Iceland

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Elska’s policy: No photoshoping, only real bodies and diversity. Photo/Fedya Ili

Photographers from the gay male erotic magazine Elska came to the country in November to shoot pictures for an issue dedicated to the men of Iceland. The editor said it was a pleasure to work with Icelanders, who were both open-minded and ready to go great lengths to get the job done.

 


3. Singer Eivør Pálsdóttir: Ignore Jenis av Rana

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The singer on the left photographed by Heiðríkur á Heygum. The politician on the right photographed by Johannes Jansson/norden.org

In July this year Jenis av Rana, a member of Parliament and leader of the Faroese fundamentalist Christian political party, Midflokkurinn, demanded that the Pride festivals, which were to be held two days before Ólafsvaka (the islands’ national holiday at the end of July) be banned. The Faroese singer and songwriter Eivør Pálsdóttir stepped forward, calling Jenis a narrow-minded man who should be ignored.

 


2. Viking weddings popular

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Pagan chieftain Haukur Bragason weds Scottish couple Paul and Marc Aitken at Hjörleifshöfði.

Ever since Iceland legalized same-sex marriage in 2010 the country has been a popular destination for same-sex weddings and now it seems more and more travelers are opting to get married here in the Old Norse way. Humanist weddings have become equally popular.

 


1. “Your girlfriend was never a boy…”

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The video is based on questions people sent via social media. Photo/Móa Hjartardóttir.

How do your genitals work after surgery? How do you have sex? Why didn’t you just be gay? Organization Trans-Iceland made a video, in cooperation with the anonymous curious public, where trans people answer questions which they usually hate being asked.

 

Á. Óskarsson
Á. Óskarsson

Á. Óskarsson offers a variety of products and services to sports centers, swimming pools, schools, kindergartens, and the general public. The company specializes in sport-related products, activity-focused games, and a wide range of solutions for sports facilities.

Á. Óskarsson has been involved in numerous big projects related to building sports facilities and has made it their benchmark to offer good quality products and equipment since the company was founded.

See links to social media in the upper left-hand corner

—————-

Á. Óskarsson selur fjölbreytt vöruúrval fyrir íþróttahús, sundlaugar, skóla og leikskóla og einnig ýmsar vörur til einkaafnota. Fyrirtækið selur vörur til íþróttaiðkunnar og leikja ásamt því að bjóða upp á ýmsar lausnir fyrir íþróttamannvirki.

Á. Óskarsson hefur komið að fjölda stórra verkefna við byggingu íþróttamannvirkja og hefur frá stofnun kappkostað að bjóða vandaðar og endingargóðar vörur.

Tenglar á samfélagsmiðla eru í efra horninu vinstra megin.

Webpage/vefsetur

Blush

    Blush was founded in 2011 when it started selling high quality sex products. The goal from the beginning was to change the market and take the discussion about sex products to a higher level. Today Blush provides professional services in a pleasant environment that fulfills different needs, both for individuals and couples. Blush respects diversity and wants to set a good example in all of its messaging to target audiences. Sexual health and equality in sex is important and Blush wants to focus on those issues through education and open discussion. Blush works in a socially responsible manner for society, their customers and the environment.

    Check out Blush’s website: https://blush.is/

    Omnom Chocolate
    - award-winning chocolate maker

      Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

      Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

      Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

      In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

      At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.

       

      Nasdaq

         

        Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence.

        With over 4,300 employees in 39 offices around the world, at Nasdaq we all contribute to the success of the company and its culture, and each one of us has the ability to make a difference. When it comes to our core mission and values, we embrace the role of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a fundamental driver of our corporate growth, workplace culture and market development. We strive to create a culture that embraces the power of different perspectives—a culture where people’s unique backgrounds and different experiences helps us fuel innovation and support our clients around the world.

        Our unique position at the center of the capital markets allows us to see firsthand how these values have redefined corporate culture and success, deepening and accelerating our own commitment to champion inclusive growth and prosperity, as we strive to create more equitable opportunities to help people of all backgrounds reach their full potential. Most notably, we published our diversity statistics for the first time in 2020. These metrics serve as a quantitative assessment of where we are today and help determine what strategies we need to adopt to enhance diversity in the workplace. We recognize that we have much work to do, but we are steadfast in our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture—one that reflects the communities in which we live, allows all employees to be their true, authentic selves and fosters individual growth and achievement.

        As we move forward together, we will continue advancing diverse ideas and perspectives that help fulfill the promise of a more inclusive and prosperous world. We aim to set the pace for rethinking capital markets and economies anywhere and everywhere. To learn more about the company, technology solutions and career opportunities, visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter @Nasdaq, or at www.nasdaq.com.

        Blue Lagoon
        - One of the 25 Wonders of the World

        Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater
        comes from 2.000 meters within the earth where seawater and freshwater converge in a tectonic realm of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals—the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

        From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing two hotels, three restaurants, three
        geothermal lagoons, a subterranean spa, a renowned line of skin care, a thriving research center, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

        Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

        The Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

        Landsbankinn
        - leading financial institution
        Landsbankinn

        Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

        The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

        Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

        The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

        Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

        Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

        It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

        Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

        Dohop
        - get inspired
        Dohop

        Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

        Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

        More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

        VSÓ Ráðgjöf

           

          VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

          Macland
          - for all your Apple needs
          Macland

          From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

          Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
          For all your Apple needs. We are here.

          Ísey skyr
          - once tasted never forgotten

          Our Story
          Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

          For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

          Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
          This is our secret and you are in on it

          You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

          Contact Us


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          Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.