Photograph: Ari Magg
Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, former President of Iceland, turns 90 on 15 April, and this year, in June, there are 40 years since her historical election as the first woman democratically elected as head of state. To celebrate this, the University of Iceland, the Icelandic Government, the City of Reykjavík, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages, in collaboration with the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, and Harpa, concert hall and conference centre, are conducting an anniversary programme in her honour with the support of numerous non-governmental organizations and companies. The Vigdís Awards will be presented for the first time during the broadcast.
The anniversary programme was supposed to take place at the University Cinema on Vigdís’ birthday in the presence of numerous guests, but this was not possible in these times of social distancing. The TV programme, Congratulations Vigdís, was organised instead and will be broadcast on the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service at 8 P.M. on the evening of her birthday. Many of Iceland’s greatest artists will perform during the broadcast and various individuals will appear to give their regards to Vigdís on this joyful occasion.
A large group of collaborators help realise the anniversary programme in honour of Vigdís’ birthday in addition to the Icelandic Government, the City of Reykjavík, the University of Iceland, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, and Harpa.
The Icelandic Government, the University of Iceland, and the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages have established a new international cultural award, presented for the first time on this occasion. An individual who has excelled in their work for culture; especially languages will receive the award. The purpose of the awards is to honour and celebrate Vigdís’ considerable and invaluable contribution to languages and culture. As a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Vigdís has placed great emphasis on promoting languages of small language communities and thus preserve the cultural heritage of all humanity involved in linguistic diversity.