What better way to kick off this week than to head north and catch up with Boat Magazine editor Erin Spens? She and her team have decamped to Iceland as they work on the new issue of the excellent title which focuses on a particular city and seeks to tell the stories the mainstream media miss. So from Google Maps to a maverick mayor, here’s Erin’s look ahead to the next seven days and you can keep up to speed using their Instagram feed as well.
What’s the best way of getting over Monday morning blues?
Well this week I’m working from Reykjavik on the next issue of Boat Magazine so there is not a hint of Monday blues for me, luckily! But in a more normal week, I’d say doing something that inspires you first thing Monday morning is really important. I make sure to have a good book or magazine in my bag or an article I saved on my phone to read on the train in. Also coffee. Coffee is very, very important!
What song will you be listening to most this week?
What was the best thing you read this morning?
I’m reading Dreamland by Andri Snær Magnason and it’s blowing my mind. It’s about environmental issues in Iceland (including a very contentious aluminum plant built in the northeast of the country) but it goes quite deep into mindsets and what it means to grow and thrive as individuals and then as a society.
He writes: “Though this country has never been richer and the opportunities never greater, we can still be coerced into invidious choices. Economic growth or the highlands? It has never been so easy to put us up against the wall. ‘What are we supposed to live on?’ people ask. It is a powerful metaphor and deeply ingrained: a house needs a foundation to support it, and a society needs a base industry to support it. First we get something ‘real’, and then we can hang all the rest off it like decorations on a Christmas Tree. But are our lives and living standards in proper proportion to the ‘reality’ we build them on?
“It is as if our dominant world view is still founded on the circumscribed possibilities of a world that has long since passed away. Security resides in this ‘reality’ and this ‘reality’ alone, and everything else must be made to serve it.”
Send us a picture of something you’ll use a lot this week…
If you could have a midweek night out with anyone, doing anything what would it be?
The mayor of Reykjavik Jón Gnarr – he sounds like an absolute legend. Running for mayor’s office in 2010 after the economic meltdown here in Iceland in 2008 his slogan was “Hooray for all kinds of things!” He dresses as a Jedi knight from Star Wars and once used a puppet to give a public address. He comes across really light-hearted about politics but I reckon he’s very smart and really, really cares (about the right things). His human approach to it all is so incredibly refreshing.
What do you hope to have achieved come Friday?
We’re here in Iceland working on issue 6 which will be totally focused on Reykjavik. The time we have here is spent digging up stories and working with locals to find out what they think is generally under-reported or misunderstood about Reykjavik in more mainstream media around the world.
We’re getting a bit of a grasp on those things (and it’s different than what we expected to find) so by Friday I’m hoping to have solidified the stories that will be in the issue. We’ll have another couple weeks to flesh them out, but I’ll need to know the rough running order by Friday.
- Take the Jack Sachs animated tour of the Tate Britain, and meet his odd CG characters along the way
- The effortlessly lovely hand-drawn illustrations of Paula Bulling
- Kii Monroe Arens' delicious gig posters
- Alex Paulus’ paintings are full of misshapen characters in odd situations
- Taiwanese graphic designer Wang Zhi-Hong’s sublime cover designs
- Carmel Buckley and Mark Harris dissect the album covers of calypso singer Mighty Sparrow
- Wes Anderson directs H&M Christmas advert starring Adrien Brody
- The New Look: Looking back at Roundel’s 1980s identity design for British Rail’s Railfreight
- Discussing cinema with Laura Marling on her directorial debut, Soothing
- London’s first crisp restaurant, Hipchips, launches with branding by Ragged Edge
- Richard Sandler’s street photography conveys the intricacies of city life
- A "stress opus" from cartoonist Nadine Redlich