Agenda 2030 Graduate School blog

Lund University Agenda 2030 Graduate School is a global, cutting-edge research school and collaboration platform for issues related to societal challenges, sustainability and the 2030 Agenda. The 17 PhD students from all faculties at Lund University enrolled with the Agenda 2030 Graduate School relate their specific research topics to the Sustainable Development Goals. In this blog the PhD students of the Graduate School discuss topical research and societal issues related to the 2030 Agenda.

Island – immersive performance in a vulnerable settlement

People lying in the grass by the sea. Photo.
Guests and guides during the performance "Island" in August 2020. Photo by Steinunn Knúts-Önnudóttir.

Posted on 14 December 2020 by Steinunn Knúts-Önnudóttir (Malmö Theatre Academy).

The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Agenda 2030 Graduate School or Lund University. The present document is being issued without formal editing.

Good example of forking through a special target funding in culture, innovation and art.

In August 2020 the project Island[1] took place in Hrísey a small island on the coast of North East Iceland[2]. The project is a part of the artistic research How Little is Enough? within the Agenda 2030 graduate school of Lund University.

The aim of the project is to develop sustainable methods of creating transformative encounters with an audience through participatory and site-specific artworks, with a particular focus on how minimal and sustainable the framework for the encounter can be. The practice is anchored in a sustainable production ethos and a genuine interest in engaging an audience in a profound dialogue around quality of life. The aim of the work is to explore ideas about what it means to belong; to a community, a family, a place, a land. The work was created with the participation of the inhabitants of Hrísey that together with the artists will prepare the island for visitors. The performance is a Journey from Akureyri, a large town in North East of Island, to the island and back. The visitors are invited to reflect their own values and ideas in an immersive performative experience that involves sailing to the island, walking in nature, visiting houses and meeting people of the island. The island of Hrisey is on a list of settlements in Iceland defined as vulnerable and has an action plan in place to enhance the quality of life in the island, to bring in new habitants, to strenghen enducation and culture and to bring new work and innovation to the island.

The immersive performance project Island was financially supported by Eyþing that is one of eight regional associations in Iceland. The regional associations has a significant role in providing services to the regions through cooperatives in fields such as social services, culture and business innovation. Eyþing has a special action plan for 2020 – 2024 called Sóknaráætlun 2020-2024  linked to the Agenda 2030[3]. The guiding light for the action plan is: How can we use Agenda 2030 to strengthen our home settlement? Beyond institutional measures within the municipality linked to certain SDG goals the action plan involves supporting target projects within arts, culture and innovation.

The aim for arts and culture in this context is to raise the education, to create a positive attitude towards culture with the public, to raise the financial support to culture, to create more jobs in the arts and to enhance the happiness level in the region.

The cultural project within the action plan works with goal 4 (Quality Education), goal 5 (Gender Equality), goal 8 (Decent work and Economical Growth), goal 9 (Innovation and Infrastructure ), goal 10 (Reduce Inequality), and goal 17 (Partnerships to achieve the Goals).

The action plan of Eyþing is a good example of measures that can work to activate and encourage individuals, small venues, collectives as well as institutions within arts and culture to act on shared goals. The action plan only started in 2020 so it has still to demonstrate its affect. Island, the immersive performance work was one of the first art works to be realized through this project.

[1] The project is a co-production with Akureyri Theatre Company and Afestival!


[3] ( directly

December 14, 2020

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