Monday, July 24, 2017

Fluga Hugmyndahús

Fluga Hugmyndahús is a creative media production company in Akureyri, northeast Iceland. In all our work we try to bring together ambition and aesthetics. They are two owners, partners both in life and at work, Árni Þór Theodórsson og Birna Pétursdóttir.
Birna has a background in theatre and performing arts as well as television: being an editor and scriptwriter. Árni has a background in film and television production as well as music.
They quite recently broke out of the 9-5 work-environment, at a local television station, wanting to create our own projects, within our own company, where everything has a creative and artistic edge rather then only market-driven material.

Árni and Birna and their assistant Magnus Ómarsson recently came to Utah to document part of a three part series documentary they are doing on Icelandic Latter-day Saints that immigrated to Utah from 1854 to 1914. We are hoping to have this film premiered in the fall of 2018 at the BYU Broadcasting building (next to the Marriot Center) which has a great auditorium for the premier.

I, David Ashby, had the privilege to assist these wonderful people, from Iceland, while they were here for over two weeks, June 14-30, 2017. We even went fishing at Strawberry Reservoir one day.
I continue to have these great moments in my life. This event ranks right up there with being with the President of our Church, Gordon B. Hinckley, and the President of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, back in 2005.

Arni og Birna

Spanish Fork Mayor Steve Leifson and Birna

David Ashby at Strawberry Reservoir

Pioneer Day 1884, Spanish Fork, Utah by Dr Fred E. Wood

Dear friends, I thought you might enjoy this description of Pioneer Day in 1884 through the eyes of an Icelander who wrote 17 letters from Spanish Fork to his friend in Reykjavik to try to convince him as to why he should become a Mormon and immigrate to Spanish Fork. This letter was written August 4, 1884 by Þorsteinn Jónsson to Jón Jónsson Borgfirðingur is wonderful. These men were both police officers in Reykjavik and both had been witnesses in the fall of 1879, when two LDS missionaries (Jón Evyindsson and Jakob Jónsson) were compelled to stand before a city hearing and told to leave the city as the men of Reykjavik were angry when three Icelandic women were baptized, one of which was the wife of Þorsteinn Jónsson. Later, Þorsteinn joined the Church and moved to Spanish Fork. Here is the description of pioneer day which is so rich in detail:
There was a great festival held here the 24th of July, naturally the biggest one of the year.  Then they call on a few men of every nation to show their national costumes and various traits, to display ones status and crafts, which they brought with them from home.  Of the Icelanders they called Þórður Diðriksson to bring six Icelandic persons.  He called my wife and I, Gísli Bjarnason and Margrét, the wife of Samuel, Eiríkur Ólafsson and Margrét, who was in the school. 
At eight o’clock in the morning everyone was to assemble by the city hall, and there everyone was ordered into groups.  First were the English and the American, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, German, all in wagons, which were decorated with cloths and upholstery of various colors.  There were also 24 young men and women on horseback, riding side by side, the boys all dressed in black on gray horses, but the girls on brown horses all dressed in white.  This was to represent the 24 days of the month.  Then they all rode along the main street, three times around so that all could see, because the sidewalk on both sides was so crowded.  Then we went just outside of town to a forest, which was planted for pleasure.  There were held speeches and singing, then lunch was served and we ate, and there after we played games.  Those who had been officers or lieutenants came in their costumes, each in their own rank that they had held at home.  I came in my policeman uniform and it was considered striking
My wife was in her national costume, which was considered the most beautiful costume they had ever seen, and I think most of the people that were present came to look at the costume, it was thought to be so significant.  The Icelanders also made a symbol for the group from blue linen, with a falcon on one side, and a Viking ship on the other side, according to Friðþjólfur.  This was also considered beautiful.  The Icelanders also carried a symbol made out of white linen with big blue inscription, saying: Iceland delights in you, Zion.  I wish it were so; however, it meant the Icelanders that are here and all of those who might come.  They also showed how they looked when they first arrived, walking with their belongings in handcarts, with their children barefoot, torn and tattered, crying because of hunger and exhaustion.  But now they have lands and acres.  But those who come now, come like soldiers in covered wagons, but may in return slave for the others, because they’ve made the lands so expensive that you can scarcely buy them.  It is not the Lord’s doctrine that this should be so.  This festival is to commemorate that the restoration of the Church, the 24th of July.  The wife and I sought to bring as much honor as possible to our nation.  It is considered a great honor to all, irrespective of their nationality.” (Letter of  Þorsteinn Jónsson to Jón Jónsson Borgfirðingur, August 4, 1884, National Library of Iceland, Archives Department, Reykjavik, Iceland,  Catalogue # Lbs IB 102, fol. B (w-ö), 1–3. See also Sigmundsson, Vesturfarar skrifa heim: Fra islenzkum mormonum, 69-71.”