Wednesday, November 10, 2010

'Sup, Samtökin 78?




I was in Iceland recently, and after a really fun night at what seemed to be the only queer dance bar in Reykjavik (for some reason it's called 'Barbara'--not 'Barbra', as in Streisand, but 'Barbara' as in...?), I wanted to visit the 'National Queer Organization'. They're kind of a one-stop shop for the country's small but active LGBT contingent, with a community centre, library, and cafe. After walking up what felt like 2,000 stairs to the top floor of a beautiful old building on the city's main shopping street, I was dismayed to learn that the centre was closed due to illness. Happily, though, a couple of volunteers who were there for a meeting took pity on me and let me in, and we chatted a bit about the organization before I had to traipse back downstairs again. Although their website doesn't really make it clear, they also have an archives! One of the volunteers told me that they collect material from all over Iceland, but I didn't get a sense of how extensive the collection might be. At any rate, if you're planning a trip to Iceland--which you should totally do, because it's beautiful--check these guys out. Just make sure the place is open before you climb the stairs.

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