It’s Pretty Whimsical at the Top of the World, But…

Illustration by Steingrímur Gauti Ingólfsson, via Grapevine.

Let’s not exaggerate that too much, eh? One more for your Christmas-reading pleasure. You know that “elf lobby story that AP published a few days ago and now everyone and their cat is re-posting? About how Icelandic environmentalists are actually Elf Believers? Well, that is a great story, y’all, but not exactly “factual” and RÚV and several other Icelandic news sources are taking issue. I recapped in my last news article before Christmas. Here’s the start:

“Elf advocates” have joined the fight to protect the Gálgahraun lava field on the Álftanes peninsula, The Associated Press reports, but RÚV and several other Icelandic news outlets contend that the article contains “numerous misrepresentations.”

The AP article is ostensibly about the construction of the road Álftanesvegur, which, as reported, was opposed from the start by environmental activists who point out that the area was designated as a protected natural area in 2009. Cobbling together quotes from notable figures, such as author and environmentalist Andri Snær Magnason and University of Iceland folklorist Terry Gunnell, the AP article presents a picture of environmentalists who “see the elf issue as part of a wider concern for the history and culture of the very unique landscape,” and of a country in which “elves are no joke,” even while our Scandinavian neighbors “haven’t taken them seriously since the 19th century.”

See the full article on The Grapevine website, here.

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