Andri Magnason – KAIROS Prize winner 2010
The Icelandic writer, Andri Snær Magnason, was born in Reykjavik in 1973. His non-fiction book, Dreamland, reached bestseller status in his native country and made Magnason internationally famous. Dreamland is a polemic about the self-deception of a nation: long before the financial crisis brought Iceland to the verge of insolvency, Andri Snær Magnason warned about the uncontrolled excesses of turbo capitalism and spoke out against selling off Iceland’s landscape to the multinational aluminium companies. After Dreamland, Magnason became known as the “Al Gore of Iceland” and became the principal in a strong, yet unideological environmental movement.
On 28 February 2010, Magnason was given the KAIROS Prize at a ceremony in the theatre "Deutsches Schauspielhaus". The supporting programme included Icelandic singer, Emiliana Torrini, and other musicians from the prize winner’s home country.
The KAIROS prize jury justifies its decision by explaining that "Andri Magnason has reversed the contemplative relationship that poets have enjoyed with nature over the centuries, turning the spiritualisation of nature and the singing of its praises into an active, combative stance. Poetry and commitment to the planet, aesthetic sensitivity and civil defiance are not mutually exclusive to him; on the contrary, they necessitate one another".