EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Icelandic Parliament Member, Artist, Activist, Poet, Former Wikileaks Spokesperson & Co-Producer of “Collateral Murder”

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Birgitta Jónsdóttir "Leak of the Valkyries" (Remix by Michael Parenti @exiledsurfer)

Wikileaks-Movie.com is pleased to introduce you to Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Icelandic Parliament member, artist, poet, activist, former WikiLeaks spokesperson, and co-producer of the video“Collateral Murder.” Jónsdóttir is also a member of what is being referred to as the “Twitter Three,” where the U.S. Justice Department is trying to access her personal Twitter account in order to build a criminal case against Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange.

Jónsdóttir has played an influential role in the unfolding Wikileaks story but what is not readily apparent, given the news media’s focus on Wikileaks, is that she has a range of passions and talents that combine into her unique role as one of the most important leaders to emerge in modern Icelandic history. This is her story.

“The 21st century will be the century of the common people. We will have to learn how to be strong together… “

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And while she is indeed “Modern” she also draws from “Ancient” traditions to influence issues, solve problems and create impact when it comes to pressing Icelandic, European and global issues. Birgitta’s interests and skills cross disciplines. She is a high-impact politician, artist, musician and technologist. She is a student of Buddhism, Norse Mythology and non-violent approaches to change making. And… Birgitta Jónsdóttir loves documentaries, films and movies with a wide-range of  ”favorites” that influence her life and work.

We thank Birgitta Jónsdóttir for agreeing to this exclusive interview with Wikileaks-Movie.com. It is our hope that you find this interview both informative and inspiring. As always, we strive to bring you first-hand perspective that sheds light on modern affairs, Wikileaks and the many creative endeavors emerging to influence understanding and debate. Please take the time to respectfully share your comments and questions for Birgitta to respond to. Enjoy!

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Birgitta Jónsdóttir | The Wikileaks-Movie.com Interview

1. What have been the pivotal experiences in your life that compelled you to become engaged as an activist and politician?

birgitta-jonsdottir-by-Elisa Shebaro-wikileaks-movie

Birgitta Jónsdóttir (by Elisa Shebaro)

My late mother was a respected troubadour when I was growing up. She made music to some of our greatest poets, many whom had a strong political message. She would play at various events for peace, for NATO free Iceland, for women’s rights and the list goes on. These events and songs made a deep impact on me when I was a child. When I was a teenager I rebelled against the flower power generation my mother belonged to and became a hard core punk. Bands like CrAsS, the Zoundz, Clash, Dead Kennedys and Sham 69 influenced me. Specially CrAsS, because they encouraged their listeners to act and join various grassroots movements.

Around the age of 15 I read an essay called the Philosophy of Anarchism and I was moved by the concept of people accepting more social responsibility beyond an all embracing system. I defined myself at this point as an Anarchist and I still do: a Realist Anarchist. I have realized that most people don’t want to be responsible. They want the system to take care of them. They have given away their power to co-create the society they live in. I believe this is one of the major reasons we are in such a mess. The last couple of years though have led me to believe that these things are changing. People have realized that the system is no longer serving them but itself, and the only way to change it is to reclaim their power that influence everyday lives by thinking globally and acting locally.

Birgiitta Jonsdottier

Birgitta Jónsdóttir

“I saw the most amazing vision, it is hard to put into words, but it was as if the planet was glowing from within with joy…”

In 1997 I was invited to participate in the International poetry festival in Medellin, Columbia. The Holy Mamas from the Kogi Tribe participated in festival as well. They invited me to take part in a ritual at the mountain in the city. Many years before I participated in this ritual – I was not sure where I was heading, what mission or quest. One aspect of the ritual was to visualize into a wool thread the shamans gave us, mother earth in the future. I saw the most amazing vision, it is hard to put into words, but it was as if the planet was glowing from within with joy. Back at the hotel I met the Mamas again, in my pocket I was carrying like I usually do some rocks I had picked up in Iceland. I took one of them and gave it to the most ancient one of the shamans, and when asked what I had felt at the ritual, I handed over my rock and said: this is a gift from mother earth in Iceland. And the old man smiled, just like in my vision, and gave me a heartfelt hug, and I knew from this time on that I had found my vision: to do everything I can in order to make this vision a reality, a big heartfelt smile from the depths of the being that we call Mother Earth, Gaia, Planet Earth.

Birgitta Jonsdottier

Birgitta Jónsdóttir

“Every crisis is an opportunity to (r)Evolve and grow into a better human being…”

There are many other things that have moved me to protest, organize events, write poetry, create petitions, show movies, write letters to politicians. All of these events and experiences have one by one led me to here. There are two rules I made early on in my life- every difficulty, every loss, every grief, every crisis is an opportunity to (r)Evolve and grow into a better human being. Stagnation is the most horrifying thing I can imagine. Through all lives experiences we have a choice, to grow, flow or wither away in the hollow of self pity and IFs.

“I have tried to inspire and challenge others to do something to change the injustice I see all around me and it has been very difficult, I studied what was wrong with people why did they not care. And I realized that the only way to get the masses out in the streets is when they are starving or are facing injustice themselves.”

Maybe they learn to be more compassionate towards others faced with similar difficulties later on. I hope so. Because of this understanding, I could see great potential within the crisis in Iceland. A real opportunity for a (r)Evolution. (r)Evolutions are not what most people think they are. They are the needed element for people, society and cultures to evolve. Thus all such elements are needed for a more mature society, or we get lazy and greedy like pre-crisis.

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2. Is Iceland making progress in becoming the “Information Transparency Haven” that you originally envisioned? Please explain.

Yes. It is gradually transforming from vision to law. It is important to stress that the aim of IMMI is to create or upgrade laws for freedom of information, expression and speech towards the best possible functioning standards of law in our world.

Iceland IMMI Initiative

The Icelandic IMMI Initiative

The main laws we tasked the government of Iceland to change are Source Protection, Whistleblower Protection, Freedom of Information Act, Limiting Prior Restraint, History Protection, Libel Tourism Protection, Process Protection and Communications Protection. The Source Protection Law is in place and FOIA is being processed in the general committee of the Parliament and will become law next September. Libel Tourism Protection is flagged of the EU application process.

“There is a political will by the leadership in Iceland to make the Transparency Haven a reality.”

This summer we will be working on drafting the laws for Whistleblower Protection, Limiting Prior Restraint and History Protection. Next Winter the drafting of the Communication Protection and Process Protection will start. I expect all the laws to have passed within a year. There is a political will by the leadership in Iceland to make the Transparency Haven a reality. The beautiful thing about the entire process is that it has raised awareness all over the world that we need to raise the standards for this sort of legislative change because most laws in regard to freedom of speech are based on laws from the French revolution and we are of course living in an entirely different reality when it comes to the way we access and express options and information today.

“The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI) evolved from the idea that the privacy of individuals should be protected better and that governments should be more transparent.  The goal of the IMMI is to make Iceland a haven for publishers, journalists, and anyone else needing a safe place to keep their information, and it seems to have worked because Iceland is the only place WikiLeaks has an office.” — http://assangewatch.blogspot.com

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Icelandic (IMMI) International Modern Media Initiative | Video Introduction

“This excellent video reviews Iceland’s bid to bring together some of the most progressive media laws from around the world to create one holistic law that will position the north Atlantic country at the forefront of the battle to protect journalists, whistle blowers and their sources from legal action.” – Al Jazeera English

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Excellent (IMMI) Review from “The Listening Post” | Featuring Assange & Jonsdottir

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3. Can you elaborate on your view of the role of the internet and social media in Democracy?

"Birgitta Jónsdóttir is a Nerd" (Remix by @exiledsurfer)

"Birgitta Jónsdóttir is a Nerd" (Remix by @exiledsurfer)

The Internet has contributed to democratic reform in many countries including Iceland. It has enabled people who care to participate in their democracies to have more access and join hands in influencing politicians and decision making and policies locally and globally. We still have a long way to go. Currently we are for example without civic rights within the social media world. Our online information is not protected by the same basic rights as for example in the offline world. I think the reason for it is simple.

“The social media for example has developed much faster than regulations, and the borderless reality of the internet is creating challenges for lawmakers to keep up. Thus I feel it is important we grant basic human rights online via international charters such as the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights. In that way all countries can reach a consensus on the norm and standard for human rights and civic rights online. They should always be the same as offline.”

“E-Politics is also a new territory to explore and develop.”

I think one of the most powerful tools we can easily create in order to use the internet in a more direct way for our democracies is for citizens all over the world to demand the right to be able, for a certain amount of the population, to call for national referendum. My political movement has put forward a bill in this regard where we suggest if 10% of the voters call for national referendum it would go in an automatic process. One of the great advantages of the internet is that, if you want to, you can find in depth information on virtually anything. This has enabled people to be informed about issues and topics beyond accessibility before, such as alternative news, scientific reports and the know how on for example how various systems work, like the banking system that needs to be reformed from top to bottom.

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joyb_chess, Birgitta Jonsdottir

"JoyB Chess", Birgitta Jónsdóttir

4. What are the fundamental components of your vision of how “Information Bridges “can be built between “The People” and the institutions that shape our lives and world?

The bridges are built from informing people about their right to access information from the system and that the system was put in place to serve them. We need to invest in Democracy. Many politicians and bureaucrats complain that strong FOIA are too expensive, I think the same people must have forgotten what their job is: to serve not to govern.

I also think it is important that it should be universal that access to internet should be the right of everyone, and of course it should be considered a breach on human rights to deny people access to internet and its content. Same rules should apply to the infrastructure of the Internet in each country as there are in relation to resources such as water and energy. Again we have a long way to go in many parts of the world. I am for example concerned about countries that have developed something nicknamed as the Internet kill switch bills.

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5. In history, who are some of the leaders, politicians and/or activists who have inspired and helped shape your work and person?

Dalai Lama, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir (first female president in our world), Bolivar, Morales, Indigenous people, Buddha, Yes Men, Love Police, Sam Hamill, Daniel Ellsberg and all those countless people who have moved the norm through direct actions throughout history.

birgitta-inspiration

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6. Being that it is a mission of yours (as an artist) to recreate and bring to life Norse mythology, which Norse myths Gods and Goddesses particularly influence you in your daily work and life? And how?

I use Buddhism for my inner work and to gain focus and compassion for the issues at hand. I use my cultural heritage both from the Norse Myths and our folklore to connect to this planet and apply respect and gratitude for the gifts received from it/her. In many ways I see my nation as high tech aboriginals. We still have strong connection to our myths and the stories in the landscape and live with the unpredictable natural patterns of an island in the middle of the North Atlantic. We were isolated for a long time and a colony until 1944. We didn’t get industrialized at the same time as Europe and USA and are in many ways quite naive when it comes to dealing with the large international corporations. We also suffer a bit from a small nation complex. After all there are only 320 thousand people living in Iceland. It has its advantages and disadvantages.

“It is said about Icelanders that in each family you will find an artist and a seer.”

I have received my greatest lessons from Native American stories, how they used to live in harmony with nature, how they respected and understood the gifts and how they understood that we can never own a mountain or a river or a land. We might be the guardians of it for the next 7 generations but we are not the lords and masters of it. I think we have to start to apply this understanding to our way of treating this planet NOW or there will be very little left for the next 7 generations or even just our kids. We are poisoning the waters, the air and the soil at an alarming rate. It has to stop or we will bring upon our children unforgivable reality. We are running out of planet if each and every one of us is not ready to change our ways, the way we consume and the way we look upon resources as limitless when they are clearly anything but limitless.

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Birgitta Jónsdóttir "Leak of the Valkyries" (by @exiledsurfer)

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7. You have mentioned previously that you greatly enjoyed Alex Gibney’s Enron film. Any other favorite movies or films? What particular genre or genres do you enjoy?

Documentaries have been my favorite genre of films for a long time. Some have shaped me and the direction I am going by providing information not available before. The first documentary I saw that had such an impact on me was by a Danish journalist who smuggled herself into Tibet and showed a reality no one knew about at the time – this was about 24 years ago. From then on I felt compelled to inform others about what is going on in Tibet, and in the last few years I have been very active for Tibet and Tibetans. I can’t remember the name of the film, I was living in Denmark at the time, and it was yet another thing that sort of fell into my lap that would somehow define my course in life.

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"The Most Dangerous Man In America" (by Judith Ehrlich)

I have seen so many great documentaries in the last few years. It is hard to choose who would be my favorite. So I will just write down that comes to mind right now: DreamLand by Andri Snær Magnason, Cry of the SnowLion, Yeti, Leaving Fear Behind, The Inside Job, The Coconut Revolution, The Take, Koyaanisqatsi, Everything the Yes Men Do, Capitalism: A Love Story (my favorite romantic comedy), The Most Dangerous Man in America, and WikiRebels.

Motion films: Brazil, Blue Velvet, Kundun, Dune, The Big Blue, Elephant Man, Nosferatu, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood.

8. Do you have any actors who you would love to have portray “Birgitta” in the Wikileaks Movie?

The concept of someone portraying me in a film is simply too surreal for me to even wanting to venture down the road of thinking who. I am however just being myself in a documentary about IMMI and Me by Judith Ehrlich (she also did The Most Dangerous Man in America about Daniel Ellsberg).

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9. Is there any other information or messages you would like to share with our community?

Don’t give away your power and think that you need a strong leader to guide you somewhere. The 21st century will be the century of the common people. We will have to learn how to be strong together. We will also have to understand that problems elsewhere in the world are also our problems because we have become totally global in our dependencies on resources. We also have to find ways to be more self sustainable in our communities and learn to stop our destructive addiction to fossil fuels. Now is the time for real change in our world – but it is of uttermost importance that we know what we want instead of the system many of us have come to see as working against us. Maybe those of us that see things that way should start to work on the “Constitution of the World”. Make a roadmap together for the future. I encourage someone out there to start. I will join.

With oceans of joy,

Birgitta

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Birgitta Jónsdóttir (Photo by Elisa Shebaro)

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Birgitta Jonsdottir Video, Film, News & Documentary Archive NEW FEATURE! |  Birgitta Jonsdottir Video, Film & News Archive

The following Video Archive contains all YouTube videos that reference [Birgitta Jónsdóttir] of the Icelandic Parliament.  Our goal is that this section will become the most complete archive on the Internet for Birgitta Jónsdóttir videos. We hope you enjoy!

….. > Most Viewed ..|.. > Most Recent ..|.. > Highest Rated


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A Warm “Thank You!” to Wikileaks-Movie.com Visitors & Fans

Thank you for reading exlusive interview with Birgitta Jónsdóttir by Wikileaks-Movie.com.  This continues our tradition of interviewing leaders, artists and others with a unique experience and perspective on matters relating to the Wikileaks story and phenomenon. We continually strive to highlight relevant Wikileaks and Julian Assange news and events as well as the many moviesfilms, DVD and documentary projects about this important story. Additionally, please bookmark Wikileaks-Movie.com as the largest “Go To” resource archive for online videos, film clips, trailers on Wikileaks as well as Julian AssangeBradley ManningBirgitta Jonsdottir and others.

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wikileaks-movie-birgitta-jonsdottir-exiledsurfer-remix-3

Birgitta Jónsdóttir "Leak of the Valkyries" (Remix by @exiledsurfer Wikileaks-Movie.com)

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Countries without Borders (Poem)

Countries without Borders
The cities of the world
are merging,
borders falling.
cultures crossing.
Through the void
of cyberspace,
the earth is shrinking,
the sense for distance changing.
One race,
emerging.
Floating through space,
virtually real.
I feel home
in every corner of the world.
Expressions
through symbols,
we can all understand.
Art is the language,
the word still a virus
from outer space.
Colors, forms, sounds, shapes,
interwoven
in interspace.
Cities without borders.
Earth without borders.
Us without borders.

Birgitta Jónsdóttir


Comments

  1. In the interview Birgitta Jonsdottir says: “I have tried to inspire and challenge others to do something to change the injustice I see all around me and it has been very difficult, I studied what was wrong with people why did they not care. And I realized that the only way to get the masses out in the streets is when they are starving or are facing injustice themselves.”

    Here, to add Ms. Jonsdottir’s words, I think that’s when the societies start to move forwards to cross the border of fear. This is exactly when they start to feel injustice in the individual scale. Experiencing such a feeling creates a pressure in the self arising with an explosion of asking freedom.

  2. Deniz says:

    It feels surreal to see a self proclaimed anarchist in the real world, able to move and shake things in an actual parliament. The chances of seeing something similar happen in my country are too remote but just knowing about the existence of such force elsewhere; in these hugely turbulent times, is a big inspiration. In many aspects Iceland could and should be a model for many nations out there as well. If only her (our) kind wasn’t a dying breed.. Go Birgitta!

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  3. [...] EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Icelandic Parliament Member, Artist, Activist, Poet, For… [...]

  4. [...] has received first-hand updates on Gibney’s interviews, including one by Icelandic leader Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Icelandic Parliament Member. Additionally, we find this to be an excellent interview with Gibney, [...]

  5. [...] to Wikileaks movie and film fans as Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. The include politicians such as Birgitta Jonsdottir and the outspoken creatives including WikiLeaks Truck Driver Clark Stoeckley and [...]

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