A non-fiction book about the 2008-2009 Cutlery Revolution as told by Hordur Torfason, the leader of the revolution.
A non-fiction book about the 2008-2009 Cutlery Revolution as told by Hordur Torfason, the leader of the revolution. Read more
Iceland's extraordinary 2009 "Cutlery Revolution"…
In a post Great Financial Crisis world ( since the collapse of Lehman brothers in September 2008 ) the need for an effective means of achieving peaceful, significant and meaningful political change in democratic nations has never been greater. And recent revelations about out of control global surveillance have made that need for improved democracy even greater.
Unfortunately in the six years since 2008 there are very few examples of successful significant democratic change having been achieved by activists or by political protest movements. Pitched battles in the street such as those in Greece have certainly delivered a large amount of media attention and fear. But they have not delivered stable democratic change - the Civilised Revolution that we the people hope for.
But there is one notable exception.
Iceland was the first nation to face financial ruin in the wake of the Great Financial Crisis's opening gambit. Thanks to Iceland's banks role as financial intermediaries for the city of London the Icelandic government and nation faced almost immediate financial ruin when the crisis began.
.. was led by "Cutlery Revolutionary" Hordur Torfason.
On October 11th 2008 Hordur Torfason, a well known veteran human-rights and social activist placed himself in front of Iceland's Parliament building and asked questions to passersby about the situation. He stood there every day for half an hour at noon for a week until he hired a truck and public address system and started holding regular weekly public meetings at 2pm each Saturday.
By January 2009, in the heart of Iceland's winter, the protest meetings had reached a crescendo. On January 20th Hordur summoned several thousand Icelanders - backed by an overwhelming majority of Icelanders who were concerned at the inaction of the government in the face of the crisis – to surround the Parliament and bang pots and pans. At the end of the week the Government resigned and shortly later elections were called.
Telling the story of the revolution…
Ever since the revolution Hordur, a musician, poet and actor by trade, has been touring the world telling the story of the Icelandic revolution to public meetings. And now he wants to tell the story in the form of a book.
…develops a New Zealand connection.
In the summer of 2013-14 Iceland's Cutlery Revolutionary Hordur Torfason visited another small island nation, New Zealand, and spent three months working with Scoop.co.nz Founder, Publisher & Editor Alastair Thompson - a political journalist and editor with 25 years of experience writing about politics - on the outline for a book to tell his story of his role in leading the revolution.
Your support for this project will be used to…
To complete the project several things need to be done:
- Transcripts need to be generated from the 10s of hours of recorded interviews;
- Translations need to be made of source documents written in Icelandic at the time of the revolution;
- Key participants in the revolution need to be interviewed to get their views on how the revolution unfolded;
- The book itself needs to be written, edited and prepared for publication;
- And finally the book needs to be laid out, proof read and printed.
.. according to the following budget.
We are seeking to raise $39,000 to get all this done. The following is our budget for the process.
- Transcripts $8,000
- Translations $3,000
- Additional Interviews $3,000
- Writing and Editing $10,000
- Post production $6,000
These costs are the bare minimum needed to produce the book leaving $9000 for the printing costs of the first edition - enough for us to print approximately 1000 copies. We expect that there will be a small surplus of printed copies from the first print run and intend to use proceeds of the sales of those copies to enable the printing of a second edition of the book.
Should support for the project exceed the target we have set we would spend additional money both on production and also on increasing the size of the initial print run.
Why we are calling the project "Civilised Revolution".
In Iceland the word for "cutlery" is the same as the word for "civilisation". In the north of the country where Hordur's ancestors come from a group of people who are known for their economic use of language are sometimes known as the "people beyond the cutlery".
When Hordur called upon his fellow Icelanders to show their concern about the path their Government was heading down he chose do so using pots and pans so as to have a significant impact in a peaceful fashion. In Hordur's own words he called upon the crowds which gathered outside Iceland's Parliament to protest "in the spirit of the society they wished to live in."
And when the Government of the day resigned it did so in a constitutionally valid fashion - passing power to Iceland's first gay Prime Minister who formed the interim government pending new elections.
And so Iceland's extraordinary example of political change which was peaceful, meaningful, popular and significant was achieved within a constitutionally sound framework, using cutlery. And it is for this reason that this project has been called Civilised Revolution.
Hordur Torfason & Alastair Thompson - September 4, 2014
Protest Image by Helgi Jóhann Hauksson, 2009
Risks and challenges
We do not believe there are any significant risks which could prevent this project from being completed. The team which will put this together has been assembled and the initial work we have done has indicated that we have a very interesting narrative containing significant lessons for the activist community which are worth sharing.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (39 days)