Iceland is famed for its entrepreneurship, tolerance and creativity, a trinity that have come to a head with the recent IndieGoGo campaign for estranged magazine, founded by long-term residents and editors, Kaspars Bekeris and Matthias Boyer. These efforts will reach a shuddering climax on June 7th with the show "Strell Ytzia Blossom: A Utopian Drag Show". Read on for more.

Over recent years, the drag scene in Iceland has exploded with a host of new acts, new shows, new approaches to the art form. From the outset, it was only a matter of time until someone would arrive to document this culture with the eye of professional, bringing this unique style of performance to a wider reaching audience. 

EVENT: Credit: estranged magazine.

Kaspars is himself an established journalist in his native Latvia, whilst Matthias is a staple, much beloved performer within the Icelandic drag scene, entertaining alongside the drag collectives House of Strike and Drag-Súgur as the glamorous Strell Ytzia.

Estranged magazine’s very first edition will be dedicated to the drag scene in Iceland; its clubs and shows, its performers and their attitudes on love, life, sex and prejudice, their ideas of how drag can be utilised as a means of expression, escape and resistance. It is, in other words, a testament to the efforts made by performers who sought to establish a well-defined drag culture in the country. 

EVENT: Credit: estranged magazine.

The journey began approximately one year ago, with two photo series by Kaspars, the first entitled “The Secret Life of a Drag Queen”, the second, “F*CK GENDER”. Of this time, Kaspars has since written of his own motivations as to why the scene was worthy of multiple photographic series;

“The last year and a half since I moved to Iceland has been a period of making documentary portrait photography project of drag artists here. What emerged in front of the camera was incredible diversity of life stories in this young yet talented local community.

We decided to reach out to all conscious rebels and make the first issue of estranged magazine on Icelandic Drag family (hopefully, our own family now). Estranged is our attempt to create a media that offers a place for mindful conversations on art and politics, to inspire everyone to develop new ideas and take action.”

EVENT: Credit: estranged magazine

Matthias also draws from a deep well of experience and understanding, focusing attention on not just pushing the limits of one's own artistic self expression, but also how said art form should be used in order to challenge prejudice, in whatever form it may appear... 

"I come from an island in the Indian Ocean called Reunion Island, France, where my socio-cultural and economic environment were disadvantaged. It is thanks to my commitment to political ecology that I got out of some determinisms of this background; it gave me the opportunity to study in the best schools in Paris.

But only since last year, when I arrived to Iceland on an Erasmus program, that I found favorable conditions to embrace my aspirations. It is thanks to the Icelandic Drag community that I am allowing myself to explore my identity with an unprecedented degree of freedom.

EVENT: Credit: estranged magazine.

June 7th will see a culmination of this crowdfunding campaign, held at Gaukurinn (Tryggvagata 22), with the show "Strell Ytzia Blossom: A Utopian Drag Show". With a final drive to push funding for this new magazine, Strell Ytzia will be joined onstage by such acts as Jackie Moon and Hans, the fierce Goth king, for a performance filled with lip-sync, poetry, music and visual art. All funds will contribute to estranged magazine’s final publication. 

If you would like to attend "Strell Ytzia Blossom: A Utopian Drag Show", make sure to visit Gaukurinn, June 7th, at 8.30PM. 

Contact Michael