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‘I always wanted to be David Attenborough’: Björk on protecting salmon, going on strike and magical mushrooms - BlogBookMark.com - Welcome Press "Enter" to skip to content

‘I always wanted to be David Attenborough’: Björk on protecting salmon, going on strike and magical mushrooms

The singer and activist is releasing a single with Rosalía to support action against intensive salmon farming. She talks about being a guardian of Iceland’s wilderness and how young people will make real change

It is hard to think of anyone as symbolic of their nation as Björk. The singer has lived away from Iceland over the years – in London and New York, and is often on tour – but when she’s been away she has always felt, she says, like she is “holding her breath”, both in anticipation of return and in memory of purer air. In recent years, since her relationship with the artist Matthew Barney ended in 2013, she has lived pretty much full-time near Reykjavik, where she has witnessed the great surge in tourism to the island, which has risen from a few hundred thousand annual visitors 20 years ago to almost 2 million now.

You couldn’t quantify exactly what proportion of that interest in volcano and glacier is down to Björk’s own one-woman nation branding, but there is no doubt that her wild and whirling music, with its operatic cutting edges of trance and techno, has done much to establish the unique cool of her native island in the eco-traveller’s mind. It is for this reason that when she adds her trippy voice to any environmental campaign, it has ripples well beyond the north Atlantic.

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