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Culture News: Kicking It New School

Anyone who has attended LungA will confirm: the spirit of the festival lives on long after the last confetti flutters into the fjörd. In 2010 that sentiment was strongly felt, and an idea was pitched to foster that spirit throughout the year. Three years later, Jonatan Spejlborg Jensen and Björt Sigfinnsdóttir stood with pride in their eyes in front of a lecture-hall of festival attendees to announce the materialisation of that idea, the LungA School. It’s what Jonatan describes as the “ambitious offspring of the festival,” a symbiosis of playful LungA spirit and a little bit of pedagogy.  

LungA school is the first of its type in Iceland. In December 2012, the school received funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture, and according to Jonatan they are still engaging in a healthy dialogue. With its inauguration, Jonatan hopes that they can help open up the system to more small, private and creative educational opportunities in Iceland. 

The ideals of the school are adopted straight from the festival. “The experience is the first part of the whole learning cycle,” Jonatan explains. The curriculum focuses “less around theory as the foundation and more about theory to support the experience.” Do first, reflect second. Like the mild-mannered cousin to the “it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission” approach.  

The ‘experience’ that LungA school promotes is realised through workshops that run every other week during the four-month semester at LungA school. “In creating arts, the final piece becomes static,” he continues, “but the process itself is super interesting to dive into. It’s not your ability to form a piece of art when you get here that is important, it’s your will and curiosity to explore a given medium.” He references a couple of the workshops going on inside the festival, as we speak. “Look at the dance workshop, for instance. There are really professional dancers in there alongside some who have never danced at all. Both of them are picking up a lot of experience, a lot of valuable experience.” 

The LungA School is now officially accepting applications, and the doors open for the first time on March 10, 2014 for a 4-week long “beta-session.” Applicants must be 18 years or older. Fall semester runs August 25–December 9. You can find the programme, curriculum, and more information about LungA school online at their website.