• A visit to Sorpa, recyciling station

    January 19, 2010 // No Comments »

    We went three times to visit one of Sorpa’s recycling stations in Reykjavik. The first time it was so cold that it was difficult to be outside and we did not film. We just photographed and one of the staff members introduced the station and the procedures to us. He had a really cheerful introduction which stuck in David’s mind. And later he insisted on going back to get an interview with this man. We returned later hoping to meet him but he was not there. We managed to describe him well enough to find out when he would be working again.

    So next time we visited Sorpa we met Sigurður Jónsson. He accepted to be interviewed and filmed while showing us around “no problem”. He answered our questions well, told us his thoughts about the environment and recycling and walked us around the area. Afterwards Sigurdur gave David a russian style leather and fur hat to keep him warm. A useful thing in the Icelandic cold but here in Mozambique it can serve as a decoration for good memories!

    It is interesting from the perspective of Maputo to look at how things are in Reykjavik. Iceland is around 20 years behind the other Nordic countries in infrastructural systems to protect the environment. Sorpa is just 20 years old and before that there was just a big garbage dump where everything was trown into one pile. People threw garbage on the streets like such an act was no problem. With a political policy and campaigns to change the mentality of the people things have improved fast, even though like Sigurður told us there still are way to many that do not care about their environmental impact. If such a policy would be taken in Maputo, system developed and awareness raised I am sure things could change very fast. I hope so!


    Posted in SOLEY BLOG, Study trip to Iceland and Norway

    A day at Fíton og Miðstræti

    January 18, 2010 // No Comments »

    David and Rejao got permission to stay at Fiton one day. They went on monday the 18th and Stefan, the creative director, received us well.

    I left and they walked over to Miðstræti where the film and animation gang is working. They spent the day there and got various tips. About how important sound is for animation, about framing and storyboarding. The guys (there are just guys there…) in Miðstræti use the 3d animation program Blender and they got introduction about that. That program is great to learn because it is free open sorce program. Some of the students in ENAV have been using it.

    They came home around four and had enjoyed the day. They were so busy that they forgot to take photos so no photo material for the blog!

    Thanks a lot Fíton and Miðstræti.


    Posted in SOLEY BLOG, Study trip to Iceland and Norway


    January 7, 2010 // No Comments »

    The study trip is divided between Iceland and Norway. We will go and visit Kulturskolen i Fredrikstad, the school I work for and has a cooperation with ENAV in Mozambique. But now we are in Oslo, my hometown for 4 years. It is nice to come back.

    We arrived yesterday, wednesday the 6th and will stay for a week. We had to wake up at 4.30 to travel so there was a very limited sleep that night. We landed in Oslo around 12 and went to town and to the hotel, Hotel Munch, where we are staying. We just relaxed and got some sleep. In the afternoon we had dinner at a nice and cheap (on Oslo scale) thai restaurant by Youngstorget called Rice Bowl. There is always a wait for table there but never long time and it is worth it. Then we walked over to Grunerløkka to a cozy cafe with wireless (nearly all have here) and lingered on the computers.

    The day after we went to KHiO (Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo/Oslo National Academy of the Arts) to settle in our workspace. We got passwords and workspace on the computers and had a nice working day. We even had a mozambican for a visit! Calu, that moved here recently to live with his norwegian girlfriend Eva (who had my job in the period before me). He is a musician and will be playing tomorrow night at some place in Majorstuen, we have to go there tomorrow night.

    Tomorrow we will have a whole day of workshop in photography and lighting with the graphic designer and photographer, and friend, Jonni that has a photo studio in the Dinamo building. I am sure that will be interesting and of great use for David and Rejao, and me also!


    Posted in Study trip to Iceland and Norway

    Work begins

    January 3, 2010 // No Comments »

    Our work location is in the Iceland Academy of the Arts. We got the keys to the media lab in the design department and access to the equipment there.

    On Monday the 28th, the first work day after Xmas, we went there in the morning and began to plan our work and program while here in the North. Over the holidays it is difficult to go for visits or have meetings/workshops with designers. So we concentrated on collecting material and generally do what is possible while people are on holiday and most places closed. The day after we went to Sorpa, the Reykjavik recycling company. We took all our cans, plastics and bottles there and received 700 kronur in return. We filmed and talked to the people working there and got explanations about how things work. There is one container there where people put stuff that is still functioning and valuable. That is sent to a shop named Góði hirðirinn (The Good Shepheard). So, after the recycling visit we went directly to the shop and David and Rejao liked it a lot. It is a second hand shop with all possible things for a cheap price. On the 30th we went to the Reykjavik Rubbish Dump in Álfsnes where all the garbage from Reykjavik is buried underground and we shot some videos and photos to keep as record of the activities there.

    Then we were in holidays again, the end of the year celebrations. We enjoyed good food, fireworks and parties. Although on a mozambican scale things were very calm. Sitting for hours at the table eating and drinking without dancing until very much later. To David and Rejao, this was a very strange way to celebrate.

    On the 2nd of January in the new year we travelled to Búðardalur, West of Iceland, for one night. It is beautiful there and calm… which means hardly anyone else was in the vicinity. We visited a farm close by the house we were staying in (a kind of a second house owned by friends). The only people living there are the farmers, Guðmundur and Halla, and their son and his friend (Raggi, Doris cousin) were visiting. For Mozambicans this is not possible. To live without a crowd of people and lots and lots of kids all around!


    Posted in Study trip to Iceland and Norway

    Christmas in Iceland

    December 26, 2009 // No Comments »

    We have never had so much fun at Christmas. Having David and Rejao along with us is great fun and their reflections on all the strange things create comic moments for us all.

    We came only two days before Christmas and had to prepare, finish to buy gifts and wrap them and then buy all the food that is very ‘neccecary’ to eat.

    On the 22nd and 23rd of December the shops are always open until late at night. The city is alive and the cafe’s and bars are full of people. We visited the new bar Karamba (the former 22), with a nice interior decorated by various illustrators, one of them the witty Hugleikur Dagson. Maybe Rejao will get a wall to decorate there when we return from Norway.

    Then we, of course, visited Kaffibarinn which David and Rejão have come to love and has become their favorite haunt along with Karamba. Kaffibarinn has been running in Reykjavik for 15 years and is always popular. You don’t go there for the best coffiee like the name might suggest, but for the athmosphere, it is always nice and relaxed. When I was in the art school I sat there many days a week with the computer drinking coffiee and smoking (in the good old days when I smoked and it was allowed inside!)

    We went to the Christmas pop-up shop in Hressó, where young designers and creatives had gathered with their products. There, Rejão was invited to play on the 23rd, which he of course loved to do and Andri came and played his guitar with him. At six o’clock we went to the annual walk for peace. The wether was beautiful and the main street crowded with people.

    On Christmas Eve we were invited to my father’s house for the formal dinner along with my brother who made a fantastic meal. Normally, Christmas Eve in Iceland begins formally at six o’clock, and some families go to church but that tradition has never been in my family. So, normally we just turn on the radio and ‘listen’ to the mass and have the Christmas dinner between 18-19.

    David, my brother, made a seafood soup for starters and a roasted smoked pork loin for main course. With the pork he made sugarbrowned potatoes, green beans, red cabbage, sause and then we had Laufabrauð (Leafbread), an indispenseble part of the traditional Icelandic Christmas dinner. It is common that families gather before Christmas to make this bread. They cut all kinds of patterns in the bread and demonstrate their artistic touch.

    After dinner we sat in the living room and began to open presents. The tradition in my parents house was to distribute the presents and then everyone open their own. Now we tried to begin with the tradition I have had with Andri and Dori, that one person selects a present for another (you cannot select your own) and the others follow what is inside. This of course is time consuming and after a while my father and brother lost their patience and father took upon himself to throw the gifts at each person! One present did not have a label on and he wanted to throw it out of the window since it wasn’t dedicated to anyone. We managed to stop that!


    Posted in Study trip to Iceland and Norway

    Study trip to Bilene

    December 19, 2009 // No Comments »


    My class that I have been teaching this year is finishing their last year in school. Next year they will work outside the school in graphic studios in Maputo and beside that do their final project. They will come in to school once a week and I will work with them to prepare and develope their final project. The students are motivated to work and I hope for a challenging and interesting period with them.

    I am used to school trips through the school years and have great memories from such trips. This class had never had a trip together. After 5 years together I thought it would be great if we could do that. It is important to create good memories from the school years.

    I decided to get a permission to go for a study trip focusing on their final project. It is good for the students to begin to think about their final project before the holidays so they can use that time to collect material and develope their ideas.

    I got permission to go and we went to Bilene; the class with 14 students and professor Candido, me and Xadreque (the financial director).

    We were unlucky with the weather in the beginning. It was raining on friday when we left and also on saturday until around five o’clock. Mozambicans really dislike rain and it was hard to get them in the mood to work. But we managed to get some work done. The students presented their ideas for the final project and most of them already had their idea ready. The ideas were various. Some were basic graphic design projects like doing an identity and advertisement campaign for a cream, perfume, watch and a bank. Other were socially oriented; one student wants to work on racism and another one (a graffiti artist) wants to focus on public art/street art and its image. Here like probably everywhere, graffiti is looked upon not as an art and expression but sabotage and the artists do not have a space to create their work. He wants to change that. It will be interesting to see the results.

    When the rain stopped we decided to have a bomfire on the beach. We had to drive around to find the firewood but we found ladies selling nice wood. It was beautiful, stary sky, guitarplay and barbequed chicken. After we made a short visit to a little discoteque in a nice ‘barraca’ area.

    On sunday the weather was beautiful. Sun and warm. Some of the group went with a boat over the lake to the other side. Then we played and enjoyed life on the beach and it was difficult to decide to go home.

    We had great time and created nice memories. I will really miss having this class around me every day, a great bunch! Thanks for a great trip all of you!!


    Posted in Soley work in ENAV

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