northern lights in Reykjavik

Summit held in Iceland to discuss darkness

Academics and artists from a number of northern countries met in Reykjavik on Friday to discuss the role of darkness in the region.

The Dynamics of Darkness in the North conference was part of the International Year of Light and was sponsored by organisations such as universities. It covered a range of topics, many of which were related to art and culture, but also issues including Swedish research into artificial lighting.

Inuk artist Tiffany Ayalik, from Yellowknife in Canada, spoke at the conference from an Inuit perspective, saying that rather than complain about darkness people should embrace it as part of their lives in the way that they do with light because it gave a healthier outlook instead of an unbalanced one.

Ayalik, who starred in the Christopher Morrison play Night, acknowledged that the long winter nights in the region could be difficult for many people, particularly those who had just moved there as it could be hard to adjust and may have a mental effect as it was possible to get worn down by it.

She noted that bringing people from northern nations together for the conference could prove beneficial because they all faced similar challenges in the winter.