10th of April, 2017 Margaret Willson, cultural anthropologists and Professor at the University of Washington gave presentation in the project’s open lecture series,
“The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Seawomen of Iceland: A Conundrum of Monopolies, Modernity, Memory, and Power” based on her recently published book titled “Survival on the Edge: Seawomen of Iceland”.
The lecture focused on possible less obvious, though pertaining to Icelandic culture form of mobility, which is sailing and working on the fishing vessels. In Iceland, women have been a part of the Icelandic fishing fleet for centuries, sometimes alongside men and also alone. They have commanded boats, and been lauded for their abilities. But in present-day Iceland, this history is all but erased; even women working at sea in modern times have been almost invisible. Why did Iceland have a seemingly unrivaled female fishing presence and what happened? Particularly in a country touted as having the greatest gender equality in the world, how and why could this happen? This presentation examined how monopolies, modernity, memory, and power, rooted in social change, fisheries policy, technology, mobility, and economics– including the country’s 2008 dramatic economic crash – can create history and even a present reality.