Arctic Festival 2022

On 15-30 September 2022, the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague (CZU) in cooperation with the Agricultural University of Iceland in Reykjavík (AUI), the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo (CICERO) and the Nordic Society in Iceland organized the 4th Arctic Festival in Iceland (Reykjavík and Akureyri). The event took place with the financial support of the Fund for Bilateral Cooperation within the EEA and Norway Grants and of the sponsor Luděk Volf, who co-financed the first year of the Arctic Festival in 2018 in Svalbard. The following institutions participated in the implementation of the Festival programme, too: the band Už jsme doma, IASC, University of Akureyri, Idnó, Bíó Paradís, 12 Tónar, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, FAMU, Czech Television, Bionaut, Film Kolektiv, Motion Blur, Sagafilm, Jaroslav Fragner Gallery, Islandica Travel Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, State Culture Fund of the Czech Republic,, Embassy of Norway in Prague, Honorary Consulate of Iceland in Prague and others.

The AF 2022 programme traditionally consisted of a scientific-cultural conference and cultural events (film screenings, exhibitions, concerts, performances, etc.). Detailed information about the programme can be found on the AF website  A FB page of the Festival was created, on which invitations to individual events were published:

Videoclip from AF 2022 (author: Jakub Čermák)

Lecture by Professor Elster at UNAK
UNAK: Pro-Rector Elín Díanna Gunnarsdóttir, Josef Elster (right), Zdeněk Lyčka (left)

The opening part of the scientific-cultural conference in English took place on 15 September at the headquarters of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) in Akureyri in the north of Iceland, with the participation of two speakers – Professor Josef Elster (Centre for Polar Ecology at the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice) with the lecture Urbanisation and development of technological support for human life in the Arctic; Development of low temperature algal bioprospection, and Dr Zdeněk Lyčka (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) with the lecture Arctic Festival – a traditional event connecting Czech and Arctic (Nordic) culture and science. Both lecturers met representatives of the following institutions in Akureyri: Vice-Rector, Professor Elín Dianna Gunnarsdóttir and four Professors of the University of Akureyri (UNAK), Dr Jón Haukur Ingimundarson from the Stefansson Arctic Institute (SAI), Dr Embla Eir Oddsdóttir, Director of the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network (IACN), and two representatives of Fisheries Studies & Biotechnology (UNAK).

Conference opening at AUI and lecturers

The main part of the conference took place on 16 September in the premises of the Agricultural University of Iceland (AUI) in Reykjavík’s Keldnaholt district. After the opening words of the representatives of the organizing institutions and their partners and the introduction of AUI (Rector Ragnheiður I. Þórarinsdóttir), the lectures followed. Since the Rector could only stay one hour at the conference, the programme had been changed and the first lecturer was Professor Josef Elster (Centre for Polar Ecology at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the JU in České Budějovice) with the lecture Urbanisation and development of technological support for human life in the Arctic; Development of low temperature algal bioprospection. The conference then continued according to the announced programme with the following lectures:

  • Peculiar mesoscale elements and extremes of the weather and climate of the Atlantic Arctic (Professor Haralður Ólafsson, University of Iceland and Icelandic Met Office, Reykjavík, Iceland)
  • Arctic dust as important climate driver (Dr Pavla Dagsson-Waldhauserová, AUI, Reykjavík and Czech University of Life Sciences /CZU/, Prague, Czechia)
  • AMAP 2022: Impacts of Short-lived Climate Forcers on Arctic Climate, Air Quality, and Human Health (Dr Maria Sand, Center for International Climate Research /CICERO/, Oslo, Norway)
  • The Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague and its activities in the Arctic (and Subarctic) (Professor Michael Komárek, Vice-Dean for Science and Research, Head of Department of Environmental Geosciences, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague /CZU/, Czechia)
  • Urbanisation and development of technological support for human life in the Arctic; Development of low temperature algal bioprospection (repeated lecture) (Professor Josef Elster, CPE, USB, Czechia)
  • First experience with research in the Arctic: How to become a polar scientist easily and quickly and why we studied stable Pb isotopes there (Professor Vladislav Chrastný, FES, CZU, Czechia)
  • International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) (Dr Gerlis Fugmann, International Arctic Science Committee – IASC) / Rannís, The Icelandic Centre for Research, Akureyri, Iceland)
  • Icelandic New Wave beginning in Prague: English programs at the FAMU Film School (Dr Radim Procházka, FAMU Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Arctic Festival – a traditional event connecting Czech and Arctic (Nordic) culture and science (Dr Zdeněk Lyčka, MFA, Czechia)

The summaries of all lectures in English are available on the AF website.

Exhibition Czechia in the Arctic / The Arctic in Czechia at AUI

After the lectures, the opening of the exhibition Czechia in the Arctic / The Arctic in Czechia about Czech Arctic research in Czechia and the projects of Czech scientists in the Arctic and Subarctic and their cooperation with Nordic partners took place in front of the AUI lecture hall. The exhibition was on view until 30 September 2022.

The cultural programme started on 15 September with a punk-rock concert by the Icelandic band Gróa and the Czech band Už jsme doma (UJD) at the Gaukurinn music club in Reykjavík.

Gróa and UJD at Gaukurinn

On 16 September, the Arctic Film Festival started at Reykjavík’s Bíó Paradís, which continued until 18 September. The programme was as follows:

  • The Last Days of the Arctic (DE/IS 2011, 90 min, directed by Ragnar Axelsson /RAX/)
  • Bear Islands (CZ 2010, 62 min, directed by Martin Ryšavý)
  • Czech Scientists in the Melting Arctic (CZ 2021, 52 min, directed by Zdeněk Zvonek)
  • Mediated Motion in the Lava Field / Artscape Iceland (CZ 2017, 28 min, directed by Jiří Straka and Dan Merta)
  • The Arctic (NO 2019, 23 min, directed by Bjørn Anders Nymoen)
  • A little bit of everything we do (NO, 32 min, directed by Amund Aasbrenn)
  • FAMU Alumni present… (IS/CZ 2004-2021, short films by Icelandic FAMU graduates, selected by Radim Procházka, FAMU International Prague mentor):

Slávek the Shit (Grímur Hákonarson, 2004, 15 min)

Anticorro (Elísabet Elma Guðrúnardóttir, 2017, 6 min)

Sassicaia (Ívar Erik Yeoman, 2016, 10 min)

MÍR: Hundred Years of Revolution (Haukur Hallsson, 2020, 21 min)

Meat (Heimir Gestur Valdimarsson, 2013, 4 min)

Chrysalis (Eydís Eir Brynju-Björnsdóttir, 2021, 11 min)

Bobby (Sigurður Möller Sívertsen, 2013, 8 min)

  • Amundsen (NO/SE/CZ 2019, 125 min, directed by Espen Sandberg)
Icelandic FAMU graduates in front of Bíó Paradís and at the film show opening

The complete AF programme can be found on the AF website.

Martin Velíšek’s illustrations at 12 Tónar

On 16 September, the opening of the exhibition The Dog With a Bun – Greenlandic Fairy Tales and Legends / Illustrations by Martin Velíšek was held in the progressive music shop and cafe 12 Tónar in the centre of Reykjavík, with the personal participation of the author and the Head of the EU Delegation in Iceland, Ms Lucie Samcová – Hall Allen. The exhibition consists of 19 illustrations for the upcoming Czech edition of Greenlandic fairy tales and legends of the same name, which should be published next year by the Argo publishing house. The basis of the book, translated by Zdeněk Lyčka from Danish and English, taking into account the Greenlandic original, are Myths and Legends from Greenland by the polar explorer, traveler and writer Knud Rasmussen. In 2016, some of these stories were retold for children and young people by Danish journalist Gunvor Bjerre in the book Moon Man and Other Stories from Greenland. The author supplemented the book with retold fairy tales of other Greenlandic authors. The Czech edition will also include the first book published in the eastern dialect of Greenlandic, Fairy Tales from Eastern Greenland (1994), written by the late Inuit writer Elisa Maqe. The exhibition was on view until 30 September 2022.

Martin Velíšek (left) and Zdeněk Lyčka at the exhibition opening at 12 Tónar (Radim Procházka photo)
EU Ambassador Lucie Samcová – Hall Allen and Lárus Jóhannesson, founder of 12 Tónar

The Festival’s main cultural programme took place on Saturday, 17 September at Reykjavík’s Iðnó Theatre:

Two films for children were shown in the morning:

  • Brumlik and Animuk (CZ 2011, 10 min, directed by Jan Bohuslav)
  • Jan Werich’s Fimfárum (CZ 2002, 100 min, directed by Aurel Klimt and Vlasta Pospíšilová)

At high noon, the opening of the exhibition The North Pole Expedition / Illustrations by Julius Payer took place, together with a glass of wine and small refreshments. Afterwards, the audience could watch the documentary Sailing around the Island of Jan Mayen (CZ 2010, 22 min, directed by Jiří Zindulka).

Idnó Theatre and the exhibition opening of Julius Payer’s drawings and paintings

The afternoon programme block was as follows:

Aleš Navrátil introduces the Nordic-Czech song concert
Performance by Maria Rún Þrándardóttir
  • Dust and art. Is research a relationship? – performance by Icelandic artist Maria Rún Þrándardóttir
  • guitar concert by Icelandic artist Svavar Knútur
  • piano concert by Paul Lydon, American artist living in Iceland
Svavar Knútur’s concert in front of the Idnó Theatre
Petr Nikl and Gróa at Idnó (Radim Procházka photo)

The cultural programme at the Iðnó Theatre culminated in the evening punk-rock concert by Icelandic band Gróa, Norwegian band Skov and Czech band UJD.

The bands Skov and UJD at Idnó

The Arctic Festival is a media partner of the exhibition “nordic arctic / Sustainable architecture beyond the Arctic Circle”, which is on view at the Jaroslav Fragner Gallery (Betlémské nám. 5a, Prague 1, from 8 September to 30 October 2022. At the end of October, an “Arctic” discussion attended by the polar ecologist Marie Šabacká, Zdeněk Lyčka, the founder and main organizer of the Arctic Festival, and other invited guests will take place at the Jaroslav Fragner Gallery.

Selected media reports:

CZU, 1/9/2022:

Zew Pólnocy, 3/9/2022:

Bíó Paradís, 5/9/2022:

University of Akureyri:
Czech Arctic Festival | University of Akureyri (

Fréttabladid, 13/9/2022

Agricultural University of Iceland, 14/9/2022:
Arctic Festival á Íslandi 15.-30. september 2022 (

Czech Television, 16/9/2022 (min. 7,10-7,33):
16. září – Události v kultuře | Česká televize (

Frekvence 1, 16/10/2022

29 September 2022, updated on 24 October 2022

Zdeněk Lyčka

founder and main organizer of the Arctic Festival