The Iceland Unniversity of the Art was formally set for the academic year 2021 - 2022 monday, August 23rd.
Fríða Björk Ingvarsdóttir, the IUA rector welcomed all the 1st year students, but due to COVID we invited only them to be present and within groups of their departments.
It is tradition to invite our alumni to speak at the gathering, this years alumni were Sólbjört Vera Ómarsdóttir (fine art 202) and Ólafur Ásgeirsson (actor 2015).
Here you can see their video.
Here you can read in full the rectors speech.
I'm very happy to welcome you all to the Iceland University of the Arts. To a university which sees its main role as harnessing imagination and creativity - a university which aims to build a strong foundation for your professional future while at the same time enabling you to break down obstacles and thresholds that prevent progress and development. All of us who work here strive to widen your horizon, increase your understanding, courage and ability to tackle the challenges that await you at the end of your studies, wherever you choose to go.
In some way the University of the Arts is an institution that follows the same laws and regulations as any other institution in our society. We work within a certain framework and obey the law and the rules that we are subjected to or which we agree upon ourselves. It is easy to maintain that such institutions do not have much in common with the development of imagination. But in my mind it is exactly the opposite. Through the institution we create a strong and steady channel for all of us, that either work or conduct their studies here. This channel serves to create a healthy flow of progressive ideas, means and technique. Our focus is primarily on the contemporary or even the future, whilst recognising the role of the past and that of our heritage.
You - that are gathered here today - come here to start a new chapter and when you're done others replace you. And the same applies to our staff. Most of us only work here for a decade or so, before embracing new challenges. With this steady stream of people, with this constant renewal, perhaps something may be lost. At the same time though, this continuous flow of new people with new approaches, creates opportunities for many more to engage, grow and participate until the time comes to share their experience and knowhow somewhere else.
Imagination is in fact the most important tool we need to maintain this stream of thought. Developing the University, the study programmes and the goals we set ourselves, should therefore be part and parcel of your progress, since no one knows your needs better than yourselves. Your participation is imperative to the quality we aspire to offer. Therefore I would like to use this opportunity on your first day here, to encourage you to take part in this community, to work with the student union, let your voices be heard in the university's councils and committees, and last but not least attend whatever events you can, across departments and programmes as much as the pandemic allows. The opportunity to participate in an interdisciplinary discourse, enjoy being inspired by other artforms and your fellow student's imagination is truly important.
This is the second year we start a new school year under the unusual circumstances of the pandemic. Last year none of us could forsee that we might need to live with covid for a while longer, and that all our work would need to be adjusted to that reality.
As before it is our main prerogative to be careful, to be considerate and understanding. We need to be worthy of each others trust in order to get through the pandemic, safe and sound inspite of all the complications that are imposed upon us. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be able to work together towards this common goal until the pandemic is over.
Finally I wish you the very best with what is ahead of you. And use the opportunity to remind you that the arts always have been, and still are, the pivot point in most ideological and societal development throughout history. For contemporary art practice to gain further momentum, society needs your commitment. The future is yours and it is your responsibility to foster progressive thinking and take a strong stand on a stage that is larger than the sum of us all, both in time and space.