Guest Lecture by Dr. Katrín Anna Lund on Witchcraft and Tourism in Iceland on April 23, 2013
All are welcome to room 215 of Ülikooli 16 on Tuesday 23rd April at 12:15, to hear Katrín Anna Lund of the University of Iceland give the following guest lecture at the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore titled "Just like Magic: Activating Landscape of Witchcraft and Sorcery in Rural Tourism, Iceland".
Strandir is a remote, rural, region in the north west of Iceland. Steady declining of traditional economic backbone, sheep farming and coastal fisheries in recent decades means that the inhabitants are increasingly looking towards tourism as a new source of income. In this they have not necessarily used conventional economic methods in order to shape the landscape as an attraction and in the year 2000 a Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft was opened in the only urban centre in the region, a town of 400 inhabitants called Holmavik. The opening of the museum re-invokes an old history since the 17th Century when the region became notorious for witch hunting and burning; history that tells about people fighting dreadful situation of scarcity and hunger trying to activate the powers of nature to change their circumstances. Many of those living today in Strandir did not think in favor of the museum at the beginning and worried about activating this horrific part of history in order to create and image for the region. This attitude seems to have changed dramatically since the museum appears to have performed magically, at least in terms of growing numbers of tourist visiting the region. In this talk my aim is to examine how the museum brings together different temporal and spatial realities that creates a place of 'in-betweeness', that is constantly in the making, continuously becoming through the magic that the museum brings about in order to activate the regional landscape as an attraction.
Katrín Anna Lund is an anthropologist currently working as an associate professor in Geography and Tourism at the University of Iceland. She has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Manchester, and before working in Reykjavik she has been a visiting lecturer at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, a Researcher at Aberdeen University, Scotland and a Lecturer at Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has published on topics such as landscape, tourism, walking, the senses and narratives in Spain, Scotland and Iceland.