Skammdegi in Icelandic means the Dark Winter, a condition that is a yearly right of passage in this part of the world. At it’s darkest on December 21, the mysterious local daylight is present for less than 4 hours, the rest is night. Surrounded by mountains on three sides and looking directly at the Northern Atlantic on the other, Olafsfjordur in North Iceland is the uniquely beautiful location of Listhús. During the months of December and January, the sun never rises higher than the surrounding mountains. The land is covered by a mysterious light reflected from the snow-covered mountains. The atmosphere creates a special environmental and emotional challenge. Local people eager to raise their spirits in the long night light up their houses with colourful lights and celebrate the distinctive Icelandic Christmas traditions till January 6th. As the winter progresses, the sun gradually climbs the mountains until the first ray of sunshine glows on the highest local peak on January 21. By the end of the month the sunshine will once again reach the town itself.
Brief history of Skammdegi Festival (Skammdegishátíð)
It started from Listhus SKAMMDEGI AiR Award in 2014-15. Listhus offered 11 artists accommodation and working space for 2 months (December 2014 and January 2015), either full grant or half grant. Ultimately, 13 more artists joined together and formed a mini Skammdegi Festival (Skammdegishátíð). Details, please check here.
Listhus announced the open call for Listhus SKAMMDEGI AiR Award again in March and April 2015. We got total 71 applications and all with high profiles. Comparing to only 26 applications of the first year, it was a big progress. The result encourages us to go further.
The 2nd year (2015-16), total 25 artists participated the residency program with 4 weekends festival. It is a bit too much for mastering. The third year it was reduced to 12 international artists, participated the residency program and 5 Icelandic artists joint the festival as well. The involvement of local artists were building the bridge for communication between cultures. The changing of the combination of artists attracted local people to the festival. We feel confident on our move.
Skammdegi in 2017-18
Having recently completed its third running, Skammdegi Festival has formed a distinct character. Our principal aim of is providing a hospitable environment and a rare atmosphere for artists doing experiments that they cannot implement elsewhere. While the location is remote and doesn’t have the resources present in a larger city, our artists feel the freedom of creation. The residency duration is long enough for artists to explore a new place, establish a new idea and achieve its implementation.
This year, the Festival features exhibitions, performances and events with 18 artists, writers and musicians from around the globe, as a result of their two-month residency at Listhús during the darkest period in winter: the “Skammdegi”. The festival will take place on 26 January to 4 February 2018.
To understand more details, please check with our 2018 program page.
The application is closed at the moment and will be open in March 2018. Any inquiry, please email to email@example.com