You looked out
in search of
the northern lights
but they were
hidden by clouds
A tribute to all women murdered by violent men, Icelandic poet Gerður
Kristný presents Drápa, a story of modern-day Nordic crime reimagined
through Old Viking Skaldic verse, musically accompanied by members of ALDAorchestra.
On a frozen January day in Reykjavik, 1988, 26-year-old Gréta Birgisdóttir was
strangled to death by her husband Bragi Ólafsson. Ten years on, renowned
Icelandic writer Gerður Kristný returned to the scene of the crime to interview
Bragi Ólafsson and produced Drápa, a retelling of Gréta Birgisdóttir’s murder,
offering her a narrative that as a victim she was until now denied.
In this rare event, Kristný brings her book to life through chilling live
readings and an accompanying new musical work written specially for this occasion
by Helgi Rafn Ingvarsson and performed by members of the
British-Icelandic group ALDAorchestra. Inspired by the traumatic stories of
victims and their violent perpetrators, the evening will seek to commemorate
not only Gréta Birgisdóttir, but all women who have suffered abuse at the
hands of those closest to them.
The event will be hosted by journalist, novelist and human rights activist Joan Smith.
Hidden by Clouds - Poetry: Gerður Kristný, Photograph: Hákon Davíð Björnsson, Designer: Rosie Lewis