Creatures of the night: Bodies, rhythms and Aurora Borealis

Katrín Anna Lund*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Aurora Borealis has in recent years become one of the most popular tourist attractions during winter in Iceland. Every night during the winter season, different types of vehicles are driven out away from the artificially lit townscapes and into the countryside where darkness, the primary condition for their appearance, reigns undisturbed. The Northern Lights, however, are mysterious, flickering in their nature, and sightings are often unreliable due to different strengths and weather conditions. This means that often tour guides and their customers have to travel through darkness for some hours to get to the places most appropriate for sightings, and sometimes unsuccessfully. Darkness is, however, not innocent and, total darkness is a deception. Darkness is shaped and situated by the interaction between human and more-than-human actors that improvise its flows and fluxes, creating rhythms and textures of lightscapes. This chapter looks at the various rhythms of darkness that are created in Northern Lights tours. Providing examples from Northern Lights tours, the chapter will emphasise the undervalued importance of darkness by giving a glimpse into what darkness brings to life as it is improvised by heterogeneous more-than human bodies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Darkness
Subtitle of host publicationCultures, Histories, Practices
PublisherTaylor and Francis AS
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780429521836
ISBN (Print)9780367201159
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 selection and editorial matter, Nick Dunn and Tim Edensor; individual chapters, the contributors.


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