It was a privilege to spend two hours with Friðþór Eydal on Thursday 25th August. We learned more than we imagined possible about the history of the US Bases in Iceland during the Cold War period and are very grateful for his generosity in sharing his knowledge, expertise and material.
We took photos on Wednesday night of the dome in front of Hofði House. It was difficult to get focus, so we´re going to try to do them again. In the meantime, these photos might give you an idea of what the triangles are like in uv light.
Today the Dome acted as a magnet. We set it up at Höfði House in Reykjavik which was the setting for the summit meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev in 1986 and regarded as the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Most foreign heads of state who visit Iceland come here. A lot of people wrote or drew on the triangles, and we made an audio recording of each students' contribution. We were also filmed for the national TV news, met MA students from the Iceland Academy of Arts and were even filmed by a drone. We've left it up so we can return tonight and take photographs using the UV torches to illuminate the drawings and texts.
Today in Reykjavik our energies were mainly focussed on one long conversation with Arnþor Gunnarsson, a historian based in the city. He's originally from Höfn and has written a two volume historical study of the area which we were thrilled to be given when we were based in the library and community centre at Höfn. He has interviewed many people and shared some of his knowledge and insights with us this afternoon. Thank you to Arnþor for such an interesting afternoon.
On Monday (yesterday, 22nd August) we visited the Nato Radar Station at Kevlavik, H-1A. We also looked around the old base, of which many buildings have been taken on by a variety of different enterprises, including a university with student housing, a hotel, hostel and film studios.
Without Ránar Jónsson we would not have managed to see the site for the former radar station. The day he drove us up it was so foggy I am sure we would have driven right past. In any case, our hired car would not have managed the road. The previous day he was our super hero as he drove us to the top of the mountain where the current radar station is located. It was a beautiful sunny day, the complete opposite to our experience at Misty Mountain. He introduced us to Liney Sigurðardóttir, the local Librarian, who told us about the Christmas parties that were organised by the American soldiers. She attended with her brothers and sisters, and they would receive a gift. Her sister, Guðrún Helga Sigurðardóttir, kept the soft toy she was given, the Monkey. We set the dome up at the local swimming pool which also houses the library and serves as a lovely information centre and hub for tourists. We learned so much from them and the others who shared stories and made new triangles for our Dom...
mist and shadow, steel grown thin with rust, silhouettes of time, imprints on rotting concrete, the boredom, loneliness, laughing, parties, the eyes of men and of children looking out from black and white photographs - alive now in the mist and shadow...
Huge thanks to the people of Höfn who shared their stories about the Radar Station with us. There's more photos to come, so please come back! We've been that busy meeting folk and travelling, that we've not had much chance to sift through our photographs to choose ones to upload for this Blog.