Many Icelanders have switched their Facebook profile picture to a photo of themselves as a child with the hashtag #barnamenning. Why? Well, the reason is The Children’s Culture Festival, an annual event that is now in its seventh year.
The event is dedicated to children and young people in Reykjavík, up to the age of sixteen. Through the medium of workshop and performances, the festival aims to introduce the youth to a wide variety of arts with the emphasis on participation, focusing on the child as an artist.
During these days an array of activities will be available throughout the city in schools, museums, libraries, theatres and other cultural institutions. Activities include everything from theatre workshops and dance events to visual arts and puppetry.
Photo by Children's Culture Festival
Among the activities available during the festival is a family-friendly exhibition about the animals of the settlers at the Settlement Exhibition, where participants learn everything about the Viking animals. 5th-grade students in Grandaskóli were inspired by this exhibition and created colourful artworks and music, using bones, shells and rocks to create a Viking settlement feel. Their artwork can be seen in the lobby of the Settlement Exhibition.
The National Museum of Iceland will host an art exhibition of artwork created by children in families who have had to flee their home due to difficult circumstances or war and are seeking international protection in Iceland. Most of these children do not speak Icelandic or English, and so the aim of the workshop was to engage the young asylum seekers in artistic expression without words. The Festival hopes that this will give visitors an insight into child asylum seekers and be interested in learning more on the topic.
Photo by Magnús Þór Einarsson
Participants will get a chance to see and learn some circus tricks with the amazing Húlladúlla at various places around the city. She will perform some great hula hooping acts and then invite the audience to a hoop jam where she will teach some cool hoop moves. No experience is necessary and the Húlladúlla will provide hoops for all!
27th of April, Pole Sport in Stangarhylur 7 will show that aerial slings/hammocks are for everybody! Slings/hammocks are suspended from the ceiling where they will support and move with the body. This demonstration is specially designed for children with special needs, so they can discover what their body can do when supported and released from the confines of gravity. With help from a parent or a guardian, the instructors at Pole Sport will make this adventure come alive with the use of a story and props.
Photo from Children's Culture Festival
On April 26th to 27th will be an improv workshop for 13-16 year-olds. Where participants will experiment with different art forms, everything from performing art, dance to theatre. The workshop ends with the participants performing themselves for an audience at the Reykjavik Art Museum.
The acting troupe Sjónarspil will perform a new play written by themselves inspired by the music of famous Icelandic musician Megas. The play is for children aged 4-9 and afterwards, they are welcome to meet the characters and actors.
30th of April at Kjarvalsstaðir a sing-along concerts for 1 to 3 year-olds will be held. It will be great fun with music, movement and laughter. They'll be singing along to Icelandic nursery rhymes and folk songs. You can also bring the family to Reykjavík's City Hall for a family yoga session. The session ends with a short yoga dance and a mild sound relaxation. Kringlan City Library will host a bookmaking workshop where children will make a book in their language using recycled materials.
The city will be filled with family-fun activities; rapping, DJing, kite-flying, dream workshop, time travel and much, much more. Check out the full programme at the Festival Website. Adults get free admission at every event if accompanied by a child.