Icelandic Futures: Arctic Dreams and Geographies of Crisis

Ann Sofie Nielsen Gremaud*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

2 Citations (Scopus)


In the wake of the economic crisis in 2008, Iceland’s efforts to brand itself as a modern Arctic nation state intensified. The author examines how public discourse markets Iceland’s clean and pristine nature and ample natural resources as a vehicle for becoming a global geopolitical player for dominance in the North. She argues that government rhetoric conveys a consistent “Arctic optimism” on behalf of officials, as part of Iceland’s attempt to leave the crisis behind and to articulate a future conceived as one of environmental cleanliness, purity, and efficiency. This kind of Arctic-as-utopia discourse is often criticized in twenty-first-century Icelandic art. Art foregrounding Icelandic nature, landscapes, and environments thereby becomes an important counter-narrative to official rhetoric and a space where conflicting approaches to natural resources can be negotiated.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPalgrave Studies in World Environmental History
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in World Environmental History
ISSN (Print)2730-9746
ISSN (Electronic)2730-9754

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, The Author(s).


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