Jóhanna Björk Sveinbjörnsdóttir

Johanna Björk Sveinbjörnsdottir

Nationality: Icelandic

I’m Jóhanna. I collect beads.

I found beautiful University beads in Iceland, where I got my B.A. in Theory of Art. They were of many colors and sizes but the most cherished beads were the dark red social art beads. I continued the bead collection after my degree and found many orange ones during travels in India. I was rewarded with some black and white ones by working with an Indian NGO’s called World Comics India [World Comics India], where I conducted comic’s workshops with the intention to give a voice to minority groups. Students and teachers and NGO workers gave me some large, bright colors beads while I was teaching Youth Empowerment and digital storytelling in a rural school in India [Bridges to Understanding and Rural Development Foundation]. I also have a few handmade yellow ones I offered to make myself with Amnesty International after I returned home. Ah… and I have some multicolor ones from my friends who were organising an event-based, alternative museum with me, called The Pop Up Museum [Smástundarsafnið] in Iceland, where we archive stories that we invite our guests to share, centered around an item they bring and connects to the theme each time. This is a museum without actual items. The most resent beads are made of ice. Those ones I got in Greenland where I ran a small hostel. They are important to me and I try to keep them from melting.

At the Visual and Media Anthropology department I can spin the tread I need to connect the beads. I think the tread will be made of workshops with youth, local media and new media. I want their voices to be heard. Who knows perhaps I can take my beads back to Greenland. We might be able to make more. But who knows, there is an amazing group of people with different ideas to inspire a different tread.