KRIA Icelandic Constitution Archives
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KRIA Icelandic Constitution Archives

August 24, 2019

In 2008 Iceland experienced one of the largest banking collapses in history. That is not where the story ends. Rather than falling back into the status quo, people took to the streets through non-violent protest. And demanded the resignation of the sitting government. Shockingly, this worked. Following that win for the people, Iceland held a National Assembly. Where 1,200 citizens were selected at random to discuss and collaborate on the most pressing needs of the society. One issue became apparent. Iceland needs its own constitution. In 2011, that’s just what happened. Through what would soon become one of the most democratically written constitutions in history, 25 individuals from across the society were elected to construct a new constitution. Written by and for its people. In 2012 a referendum on the new constitution was held and approved by the nation. Although not yet approved by its Parliament, This constitution took an unexpected journey. What happened next, was extraordinary. Once word got out, that this tiny nation had created a constitution using such unique and advanced methods of inclusion, others around the world started taking notice. Today the Icelandic constitution awaits implementation from its Parliament. But its global impact continues to grow. My name is Eileen Jerrett. And I’m part of the team that’s creating, KRIA the Icelandic Constitution Archives. I’ve been following this story over the last 10 years. And working closely with the Icelandic community To better understand how this came to be. I am so excited to share this project with you. And grow the community around this initiative. So what’s the archive all about? Good question. Recently we learned, that the content around the (Icelandic) constitution Is not only very difficult to find, But it’s also slowly disappearing. This archive will collect all available content. And make it widely accessible. Helping all of us to better understand, What conditions lead up to the constitutional reform, What was it like to rewrite the constitution, What type of work is being done in the community to keep it alive. And then of course the type of work around the world that people have done out of inspiration from the Icelandic constitution. It was a community that forced the government to listen. It was a community that rewrote its constitution. It was a community that helped this unknown filmmaker travel around the world and talk about this extraordinary moment in democratic history. And it must be a community that builds this next chapter. It’s not just about one nation. This is a story about working against the odds collectively everyone having a seat at the table, and not letting history be silenced. Join us. And be a part of history. Thank you.

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