“I’ve always had a yearning for justice”

What do queer people, disabled people, people of foreign origin and fat people have in common? How can these groups work together and learn from each other? These questions and others will be examined at the conference Disturbing Existence on March 3-4.

The keynote speaker will be Lydia XZ Brown, Autistic Hoya, an American activist and law student of Asian origin, adopted, autistic, disabled, asexual and genderqueer, known for their well defined and fresh perspective on marginalized groups’ struggle for human rights. GayIceland got in touch with them with a couple of questions which they were happy to answer.

Lydia XZ Brown will be a keynote speaker at Disturbing Existence. Lydia is a popular lecturer known for their well-defined and fresh perspective on marginalized groups’ struggle for human rights.

What will be the main focus of your lecture?
“I will be discussing the deeply interconnected histories, collective trauma, and current experiences of disabled people, queer people, asexual people, and trans people, within a disability justice framework for practice and community building.”

What do queer people, disabled people, people of foreign origin and fat people have in common? How can these groups work together and learn from each other?

“All marginalized people, including queer, disabled, foreign, and fat people, share some experiences, and definitely patterns of being marginalized or targeted. That is not to say all marginalization or oppression is the same, it’s not. For example, being tokenized, being erased, having labour demanded or expected from us, especially unpaid labour, being dehumanized, being presumed incompetent, etc.

Working together requires firstly recognizing that many people live at the intersections. That they are fat and disabled; queer and of foreign origin; fat, queer and disabled etc. and so these groups are not separate or mutually exclusive.

“We all have limited knowledge and experiences, and movements aiming to be truly intersectional have to keep in mind multiple types of access and participation to prevent simply reproducing patterns of exclusion and marginalization.”

Secondly, it requires recognizing that we all have limited knowledge and experiences, and that movements aiming to be truly intersectional have to keep in mind multiple types of access and participation to prevent simply reproducing patterns of exclusion and marginalization. For example, claiming to be in solidarity with queer people, but shaming sex workers; or claiming to be in solidarity with disabled people, but only asking non-disabled parents of disabled children to give speeches at a rally.”

Different forms of oppression are connected

One of the concepts that you put emphasize on is “intersectionality”, a term which many people think is quite revolutionary. How would you explain it?

“The term intersectionality was invented by black scholar-activist Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe the specific oppression she experiences as a black woman, which is distinct from the sexism experienced by white women or the racism experienced by black men, and is not merely the two added together but something particular on its own.

The term intersectionality was invented by black scholar-activist Kimberlé Crenshaw. Photo/A still from a video of Kimberlé giving a lecture on the subject.

Since Crenshaw first coined the term, it has come to mean intentional, conscious understanding of how people with intersected lives experience compounded and new oppressions specific to those intersections, but will always remain rooted in intersected black women’s experiences.”

While many people celebrate the concept of intersectionality some people have been very critical of it, both within the queer society and feminist movement. People worry that by focusing so much on what different groups have in common the individuality of each group is lost and that unique issues will suffer. What do you have to say about suh criticism?

“That criticism completely misconstrues and misunderstands intersectionality. It conflates “intersectionality” with the pithy, ultimately meaningless slogan, “same struggle, different difference”.

“Some people are excited and validated to learn about my ideas and work. Other people are frustrated and uncomfortable. Still others are just pissed off.”

Intersectionality is not about claiming that all oppressions are the same, or that all oppressed groups have the same experiences. It is about recognizing that a low-income Latina Muslim transwoman without any disabilities has a fundamentally different experience with her oppressions from, say, a wealthy black Christian cis-gender man with multiple disabilities.

Intersectionality calls us to understand both patterns of oppression that cut across multiple identities and distinct and particular manifestations of oppression that all marginalized people do not experience. It is about recognizing how different forms of oppression connect to one another and help perpetuate one another, not trying to conflate them.”

Misogyny, racism and ableism still endemic in Iceland

Where and when did your interest in these subjects begin?
“I have always had a yearning for justice and felt a call to work for it here on earth. Becoming politicized about being autistic, and then disabled as a cross-group identity, spurred along the process.”

How are your ideas generally received?
“To give the tried and true law school answer: It depends. Some people are excited and validated to learn about my ideas and work. Other people are frustrated and uncomfortable. Still others are just pissed off.”

Lydia says that she’s excited to learn more about the situation on the ground in Iceland from the activists at the conference

 Tell us about your role in the conference? What will you talk about and what will the workshop be about?
“I’ve been asked to give a keynote for the conference, and to lead a half-day training/workshop session for activists and organizers afterward.”

Are you familiar with the situation of these matters here in Iceland? What do you know about Iceland?
“I can’t claim to be an expert, because I’m not! My experiences are rooted in the U.S., but I am intentional about seeking knowledge and wisdom from individuals and communities outside my home country.

I am aware that Iceland is widely considered to be a feminist and queer utopia with very little social problems, but that that public image, while bolstered by progressive laws on issues like same-gender marriage and equal pay, is also somewhat superficial, with seriously systemic misogyny, racism, and ableism still endemic in Iceland as well. I am excited to learn more about the situation on the ground in Iceland from the activists at the conference!”

“I am aware that Iceland is widely considered to be a feminist and queer utopia with very little social problems, but that that public image … is also somewhat superficial …”

Finally, what will you be doing here besides taking part in the conference?
“While in Iceland, I will also hopefully have a chance to see the areas within and around Reykjavik – and hopefully catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.”

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

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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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