In recent years, Icelanders have started to appear exotic and slightly weird.
As recently as twenty years ago, they preferred to be as citizens in any other European country – but there’s money to be made by standing out from the crowd.
Today, Icelanders wish to be portrayed as eccentric and as close as possible to being indigenous people.
There’s a great branding value in this. In a world where big cities, with their highrise buildings, are getting increasingly similar, Iceland is moving in a slightly different direction:
“There’s a branding value in being an indigenous people, formed by uncontrollable forces of nature. Icelanders have given up trying to fight off the traditional image that Europe has associated with them – and it’s paying off,” says Ann-Sofie Gremaud, a PhD in visual culture at Copenhagen University.
“Iceland has a good tale to tell the world, and European and American tourists are fascinated by the wild, the different and the eccentric.”