the ireland : iceland project

the ireland : iceland project

the ireland : iceland project is an ongoing collaborative project connecting the islands and people of Ireland and Iceland.

This creative intervention was initiated to activate an international social dialogue between Ireland and Iceland by exploring and exchanging ideas about cultural identity, creative practice and collective imagination.  

the ireland : iceland project has inspired many new ways of working and being and played a vital role in the foundation of The Trailblazery. Our mission was to investigate culture and develop a "what if" enquiry.

  • What if we bring together two islands that are experiencing cultural crisis/kreppa
  • What if we connect socially engaged creatives and provocateurs to participate in a cultural investigation
  • What if we embark on a journey to evolve culture together through conversation and creative practices
  • What if we explore and activate the “cracks of possibility” revealed in this convergence of crises?

This what if enquiry evolved into a cultural movement connecting ideas people, social architects, lighthouse keepers, systems thinkers, economists, performance artists, music collectives, theatre makers, visual artists, filmmakers, writers, choreographers, designers, animators, change agents, DIY activists, movers and shapers...all threaded together by a shared, deep care for our collective future. Some of the touchstone enquiries of the ireland : iceland project are questions that have been central to the evolution of the project. These are questions that continue to show up for us in the experience of living as individuals, living together on islands in the midst of crisis/kreppa and living in an ever-changing world.  The act of not knowing/emergence — the answer, the goal, or even the next step is generally associated with deficit and failure in our culture - we embrace the open-endedness of these dialogues and have come to understand it as part of our creative process.

The Northern Lights Observatory (2011) was designed as the first public conversation of the ireland : iceland project, igniting a large-scale collective investigation into cultural identity and a creative response to the crisis/kreppa. This series of symposiums, pop up events, sleepovers and collaboratories engaged with over 2000 Irish and Icelandic stakeholders from the fields of arts, culture, politics, society, innovation and economics.

Pilgrimage – A Cultural Odyssey (2013) was another wave of cultural activity influenced by the ireland : iceland project. This collaborative project was sited in Sligo, Ireland and connected a diverse group of Irish, Icelandic and Greek musicians, visual and performative artists. The ethos of Pilgrimage was inspired by Black Mountain College with pilgrims sharing practice, co-teaching, visiting ancient sites and walking the land. Pioneers and field specialists were invited to visit and share from their place of learning to bring new perspectives to the process.