FOCUS OF THE WEEK HCA-ambassadors appointed in Iceland

HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark appoints former president of Iceland Vigdís Finnbogadóttir and author Einar Már Guðmundsson as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors at an event in Reykjavik

By Oliver Newton - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 28 January 2005

The 2005 Hans Christian Andersen bicentennial projects were presented at a press launch in Reykjavik with geysers, volcanoes and the Blue Lagoon as backdrop. The event, which took place on 27 January 2005, also featured the appointment of two prominent public figures from Iceland as Honorary Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador and Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador respectively.

On Thursday 27 January 2005, the extensive and impressive Icelandic Andersen bicentenary programme was presented at an event hosted at the Radisson SAS Hotel Saga in Reykjavik. During and after the official Hans Christian Andersen bicentennial year, Andersen related events will be held throughout Iceland. The many interesting projects include: a Hans Christian Andersen talking book, a musical performance of The Little Match Seller, a ballet performance jointly created by the Royal Danish Theatre Ballet School and the Icelandic National Theatre, a documentary on Icelandic TV, and a number of lectures on the life of Hans Christian Andersen by the Andersen scholar Jens Andersen. The Icelandic Hans Christian Andersen projects are listed below.

The event at the Radisson SAS Hotel Saga in Reykjavik also featured the appointment of two prominent Icelandic public figures as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors. Icelandair was the official carrier when HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark travelled to Reykjavik to preside over the appointment of former president of Iceland, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, as Honorary Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador and to appoint the celebrated Icelandic author Einar Már Guðmundsson as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador.

The appointment of these two public figures acknowledges their profound commitment to the Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary in Iceland as well as their close ties to Denmark which they both for lengthy periods have made their home. The event was hosted by the Royal Danish Embassy in Reykjavik, the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, and Have PR & Kommunikation



Author Einar Már Guðmundsson, former President of Iceland  Vigdís Finnbogadóttir and HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark.


Sponsor of tickets for the HCA2005 event in Island

 

Official Hotelpartner of HCA2005

  

Official carrier of HCA2005

 
                               
                                   


Facts on the 2005 Andersen bicentenary in Iceland

The Royal Danish Embassy in Reykjavik is to coordinate a range of events in relation to the Hans Christian Andersen bicentennial celebrations. These events will be staged in collaboration with institutions, associations, foundations and private initiators throughout Iceland. Some individual activities are exclusively sponsored by private foundations but most are sponsored and endorsed by the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

The activities are scheduled from September 2004 to continue throughout the bicentennial year 2005. The events are to reach as wide a geographical area as possible, allowing some to take place in provincial areas. But as 2/3 of the Icelandic population lives in the capital Reykjavik, most of the activity will take place there.

Education
Iceland is - apart from the border region in Germany - the only place in the world where Danish as a foreign language is compulsory at elementary and upper secondary school level. A special interest is therefore invested in the different projects and activities in relation to Danish language education where Danish youth literature has for many years been an integral part of the curriculum.

Hans Christian Andersen on the web
An internet-based educational programme related to Andersen has been developed in collaboration with the Centre for Children's Literature at the Danish University of Education. This project is especially directed towards elementary school teachers and upper secondary education and features different educational resources on the life of Hans Christian Andersen as well as suggested guidelines on how the programme can be used.

The Royal Danish Embassy in association with the language consultant at the Icelandic institution, the Nordic House, will promote the programme at schools throughout Iceland. Furthermore, a website will be launched with inspirational language teaching resources related to Andersen.

Project days
Project day programmes have been developed for elementary and upper secondary schools. The 3 to 4 different programmes feature educational resources that can be applied with project days for either the entire school or at single grade levels. The projects days are scheduled for March 2005. In relation to this, the Royal Danish Embassy in association with the Nordic House and the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation will organise tours in Iceland of one or several theatre troupes. The focus will be on puppet theatre, children's and/or youth theatre that feature an Andersen repertoire. The theatre groups are to tour the schools hosting project days and a major performance is planned for Reykjavik.

Books and publications
Translation of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales
The publishing house Bjartur and the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation are currently collaborating on the publication during the autumn of 2005 of a new translation of all of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales. The writer Þórarinn Eldjárn will translate the fairytales.
Official logo partnership with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

Talking book with Andersen fairytales
The Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation in association with the Icelandic Institute for the Blind will release a CD with readings of the new translations of Andersen's fairytales. The talking book is aimed at the blind and children. The publishing house Hljóðbók is an experienced publisher of talking books and has formerly published CDs with the tales of the Brothers Grimm.
Official logo partnership with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

Book gift for elementary schools
This activity is a continuation of the free book programme in Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. The distribution of the free book is scheduled for the 2004 - 2005 academic year.


Exhibitions
Art exhibition
In association with the Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Centre, a major Hans Christian Andersen exhibition will be featured at the Reykjavik Museum of Art, Hafnarhúsið.  The exhibiting artists are Kabokov and Kosuth, and the exhibition will feature a large tapestry relating the fairytale The Emperor's New Clothes. In addition, a number of art installations will be exhibited in a "house construction". All installations will draw inspiration from Andersen's life and work. The exhibition will open during early October 2005.


Performances
Musical

The Icelandic Opera in association with the theatre group Litla Stúlkan will stage a musical based on The Little Match Seller. The musical is created by Jeremy Paul and Leslie Stewart. Keith Strachan has composed the score. The musical will premiere in 2005.

Ballet performance
A ballet performance will be staged by Kaupþing in association with the Royal Danish Theatre Ballet School and the Icelandic National Theatre in October 2005.

Puppet theatre in association with the Nordic House
Between 4 and 6 April, six puppet theatre performances based on the fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen will be staged in the Nordic House for kindergarten and schoolchildren.


Film
TV documentary

During 2005, a two-part TV documentary on the life Andersen is to feature on Icelandic national broadcasting, RÚV. The film is co-produced with Danish national broadcaster DR as well as ARTE and NDR (Germany).

Feature film
The Danish filmmaker Bille August will direct a feature film on the life of Hans Christian Andersen, which is scheduled to premiere in 2006 and will be screened in Icelandic theatres.

Animated film
A 26-part animated film sequel featuring 30-minute episodes inspired by the fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen will be produced by Egmont Imagination/ Magna Films and distributed by Telescreen. The series will be featured on Icelandic TV in celebration of the Andersen bicentenary and will later be released for home entertainment.

Other activities
Conference on children's literature

In October 2004, an international conference will be held at the Nordic House on children's literature. One of the subjects addressed at the conference will be the fairytale genre and Hans Christian Andersen.

Children's drawing competition in association with Icelandic TV and the Nordic House
A children's drawing competition will be held in association with Icelandic national broadcasting and the Nordic House

Lectures on Hans Christian Andersen
The Nordic House will host a lecture by author and literary critic Jens Andersen on the life of Hans Christian Andersen in September 2004. The lecture will feature as a prelude to the bicentenary celebrations. Jens Andersen will furthermore speak on the subject of Andersen in the towns Reykjavik, Akureyri and Egilstadir during the autumn of 2005.

LEGO and Hans Christian Andersen
A number of events will be hosted by LEGO in connection with the Hans Christian Andersen bicentennial celebrations.

Industrial promotion
Different promotional activities will be hosted throughout Iceland during the bicentenary. This will take place in association with a number of different companies, publishing houses and supermarket chains.


Facts on the Icelandic Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir
Born in 1930. Mrs. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was the President of Iceland from 1980 to 1996. She has for many years been involved in the global struggle for children's and women's rights. She has in relation to the celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen been the driving force in forging ties between the Royal Danish Theatre Ballet School and the Icelandic National Theatre. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir has been appointed Honorary Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador - a title reserved for royal dignitaries, heads of states and first ladies.

Einar Már Guðmundsson 
Born in 1954. Einar Már Guðmundsson is the most widely read Icelandic author in post-war Europe. He is a novelist, short story writer and poet. He has over the last 20 years written 8 novels, 5 books on poetry, a collection of short stories, a collection of essays and three youth books. He has received many accolades for his authorship, including the 1995 Nordic Council Literary Prize for Angels of the Universe.


Back