Last weekend (September 30th and October 1st) a symposium and workshop was held at Skjólbrekka by Lake Mývatn. This marked the beginning of a new Research Centre focusing on environmental humanities, or “náttúruhugvísindi” (nature humanities) in Icelandic. The Research Centre is a collaboration between Svartárkot Culture-Nature and The Institution of Research Centres at the University of Iceland, with a close connection to the people living and working in the area.
The name of the centre – HULDA – refers to both the poet Unnur Benediktsdóttir Bjarklind (born 1881 in in Laxárdalur in Suður-Þingeyjarsýsla), who wrote under the artist name Hulda, and the word “Hulda” that means fairy, or hidden one.
The symposium was a great success. Up to 50 people and scholars from the area and elsewhere attended, took part in discussions and listened to talks by both knowledgable locals and internationally acclaimed researchers on the interplay between humans and nature in this unique area throughout the centuries. The symposium concluded with discussions on three important topics: opportunities for cooperation with local institutions, documents found in homes in the area and what is worth preserving, and last but not least: how to build bridges between locals and researchers.
We look forward to seeing HULDA Research Center come to life in the next few months, and to exploring the possibilities such a cooperation can bring about for both people living in the area, and scholars interested in pursuing innovative transdisciplinary research projects in the region.
Please follow our instagram page for photos and insights from the symposium!