After bringing their anti-capitalist BDSM techno music and performance art to Eurovision earlier this year, Hatari again made international headlines last month when one of their dancers opened up an enormous pair of rainbow wings during the band’s show in Moscow, Russia.

Andrean Sigurgeirsson, a choreographer and dancer with Hatari, unveiled the rainbow wings during the band’s encore performance of their song Hatrið mun sigra. Gay Iceland spoke to Andrean about the story behind the rainbow wings, the journey to Eurovision, and his life beyond Hatari.

‘Stepping into the darkness’

Andrean Sigurgeirsson.Andrean says he only began performing with Hatari after he was approached by the group as a whole, lead singers Matthías Haraldsson and Klemens Hannigan, and dancers Ástrós Guðjónsdóttir and Sólbjört Sigurðardóttir whom he’s known since school, and Einar Hrafn Stefánsson drummer and producer of the group, when they decided they were going to enter into competition to represent Iceland at Eurovision.

“They thanked me so much for this little act of waving the rainbow flag. And then I remembered, shit, this is such a political flag.”

“I originally was going to boycott Eurovision like so many people, but when I heard about their song and their thought behind it, I was just sold,” Andrean says. “Since RÚV, The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, was not going to boycott, I rather wanted to see a song that uses the opportunity to raise awareness of the multiple human rights violations of Israel towards Palestine and the hypocrisy of hosting a competition which unites people in a country that divides. I wanted a better way of protesting the paradox of it being held there.”

When he’s not performing with Hatari, Andrean is a dancer with the Iceland Dance Company, where he performs primarily contemporary dance. He says it wasn’t hard to make the transition between dancing for the national company and working with the techno-punk band.

“The artistic director now is Erna Ómarsdóttir, and we do a lot of her stuff. We do a lot of using the voice, and it’s a very dark world with a lot of screams. So stepping into the darkness is nothing new,” he says.

Andrean says it was also easy to work with Hatari because he has always incorporated politics into his art. “I’m always trying to find the balance between activism and art,” he says. “Whether it be dance or any art genre, I feel like it’s always the strongest if you can use your art to protest or to open a conversation about something.”

‘A huge impact’

Since performing at Eurovision, Hatari has garnered a worldwide following. “I actually wasn’t expecting anything,” Andrean says about the band’s popularity. “I wasn’t doing this for a following or anything of that sort. I was just doing it for the vision of it and the purpose of it. But of course when you do an act like that, of course you would get attention and some sort of fame.”

Andrean waved both the trans flag and the rainbow flag, which he says symbolizes the rights and freedoms won, but continues to be a powerful symbol of struggle and hope for equality.

When asked about why he thinks such a large queer following has developed around the band, Andrean points to Hatari’s strong homoerotic imagery. Their performances and music videos are replete with whips and chains and leather-clad, scantily dressed men. “And then I come in with all of my flair,” he adds.

Andrean says there was one particular moment at Eurovision when he felt the band’s queer following began to crystallize. “I was waving the rainbow flag in the green room during the semi-finals,” he explains. “Every single second they were recording in the green room, there I was waving the rainbow flag. And it had a huge impact.”

Af the semi finals, Andrean says he was bombarded by messages from fans on Instagram. “Most of them came from Eastern Europe, especially from Russia, Poland,” he says. “They thanked me so much for this little act of waving the rainbow flag. And then I remembered, shit, this is such a political flag. In Iceland, thankfully, waving the rainbow flag is becoming very normal. But many countries participating in Eurovision, LGBT+ rights are not advanced, or even being undermined and rolled back. The rainbow flag symbolizes the rights and freedoms won, but continues to be a powerful symbol of struggle and hope for equality.

That was actually the sprout of the idea that ended in the wings.”

‘I never felt secure’

When he found out the band would be going to Russia, Andrean began thinking of a way to make a statement during the performance. “I had to find a way to make it interesting and make it very clear as well,” he says. “And then I just thought of Courtney Act on RuPaul’s Drag Race when she had her crazy wings.”

Andrean says the plan was concocted and the wings were built very last minute. His friends Haraldur Leví, a prop designer, and Alexía Rós, a seamstress, helped him pull off the idea. “I picked it up at four in the morning just before I went to the airport,” he says. “I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful.”

“I was very scared actually,” Andrean says about the lead-up to the show in Moscow, since he was traveling alone to Moscow, while the boys were in St. Petersburg performing.. “I believed in this act and I really wanted to do this, but I felt like I had contraband in my bag. I felt like anything could happen. I never felt secure, and I was always expecting the worst.”

It wasn’t until Andrean made it to the venue that he says he felt he could finally relax. “I felt straight away that the people working at the venue were open minded and also seeing the boys made me feel more secure,” he says, referring to Mattíhas, Klemens and EInar.

No one knew that Andrean would be coming to Moscow with Hatari, so he says he made sure that he stayed backstage and kept the wings a secret. “As soon as I came on stage to perform Klámstrákur with Klemens, I just felt the glow of love,” he says. “As I looked over the crowd I saw all of these small little rainbow flags popping up. It was beautiful.

“I just remember when I was prepping my wings I was buckled up, I had to take a big breath, because I was like, maybe I’ll be shot.”

In the encore we did Hatrið mun sigra, and that’s where I decided I wanted to put the wings up, at the very end in the power pose. I just remember when I was prepping my wings I was buckled up, I had to take a big breath, because I was like, maybe I’ll be shot, you never know,” he explains. “But then I just went up and spread my wings and people screamed and cried and cheered for a very long time. It was just a very beautiful communication of love.”

‘A lot of fire in me’

Andrean, who is half Indonesian, says he’d especially like to make art that addresses the politics of that country.

After leaving Russia, the band flew to Helsinki. “I just wanted to kiss the ground,” he says. “But at the same time, I felt very conflicted and bad, I kind of had this diplomatic immunity of being foreign and using my voice. I had the privilege of walking out of this situation, unlike the discrimnated LGBT+ community in Russia.

I talked to some of the fans backstage and at the concert they were dressing colourfully and in harnesses and stuff, but they all wore big coats so they could drift into the night without being seen. Because being different is a risk in Russia,” he explains. “It reminded me that a lot of fights have been fought in the past for us to live freely and unafraid.”

Going forward, Andrean says he hopes to continue making statements with his art. “Not only do I have a platform to do it, but I also have the freedom to do it.” he says. “People that have the privilege and are not using their voice to help others — I think that’s not right.”

Andrean, who is half Indonesian, says he’d especially like to make art that addresses the politics of that country. “The LGBT community in Indonesia is under a big threat,” he explains. “So that’s also a ground that I’d like to step on.”

“I still have a lot of fire in me that I want to express, either with Hatari or by myself.”

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.

Locations:

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.

     

    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      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 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier 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 a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

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

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

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      Landsbankinn
      - leading financial institution

      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 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. “

      Macland
      - for all your Apple needs

      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.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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        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.

        Núðluskálin
        - noodle bar

        Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

        All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
        We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
        Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

        Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

        Seatours
        - adventure cruise

        Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
        and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

        The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

        600x400-seatours-tasting

        This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.

        600x400-seatours

        The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

        Birds, possible to spot:
        -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
        -eider ducks
        -shags
        -kittiwakes
        -fulmars
        -white-tailed eagle

        The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
        Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

        Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

        Contact Us


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