As capital of a country where culture is uniquely close to the forces of nature, Reykjavík cultural year 2000 could hardly have found a more “natural” theme than "Culture and Nature" to head the programme. The cultural year started in Iceland on January the 28th and was symbolically closed on December 30th with the singing of 700 voices in the city centre.
The main objective of Reykjavik 2000 was not to increase the quantity of events, but rather to increase the quality and diversity, and open the doors even wider to look into a new and open landscape of, “Culture and nature” in the new millennium. All in all, the programme included around 300 projects. Rather than using the traditional method of categorising artistic and cultural activities, low-key curiosities as well as large-scale spectaculars were divided into what the ancient philosophers called the archetypal elements (fire, water, earth and air).
Each and every event represented in some form, the energy found at the heart of nature. This included festivals where the natural elements of fire and wind were celebrated and exhibitions and events took place in surprising and unusual outdoor settings. Schools, groups and organisations working with young people were also central to the Reykjavik ECC2000 programme as it focused on new participants and new ways of discovering a deeper, broader interpretation of culture. The Cultural Year in Reykjavik really belonged to the whole country, as local authorities all around Iceland took part by introducing projects relating to the theme “culture and nature”.
Source: European Cities of Culture for the Year 2000 - A wealth of urban cultures for celebrating the turn of the century - Final Report - GiannaLia Cogliandro