In episode two, I descend into the historic city public toilets of downtown Reykjavík to check out one of the newer museums in town, the Icelandic Punk Museum. You know it’s legit because Johnny Rotten himself presided over the opening in 2016.
In a town with its fair share of tourist traps, this space is no gimmick. The museum was created by punks and music scholars who manage to hit just the right notes with their content and presentation.
And unlike the staged tour of the “historic” Lucky Seven Punk House on Portlandia, the Pönksafn is staffed by real veterans of the Icelandic punk scene ready to reminisce with those who were in the scene or educate new comers to the genre. (By the way, if you are a public history person, that Portlandia skit is a must-see.)
I had trouble setting a time to come by the museum, so I just stopped by on my way to class one bright sunny day in September and had a conversation about the museum and punk music with curator Svarti Álfur.
Music in this episode is by Skrattar. When I asked Svarti what the punk scene was like now, he pointed to bands like Skrattar as the new manifestation of the punk state of mind. Starting with this episode, I’m planning to use music from a different Icelandic band in each episode.
How to Listen to Museums in Strange Places
The Museums in Strange Places podcast is available on your favorite podcast listening platforms (Did I miss one you like? Let me know!):
Or, as always, you can listen right her on this page using the player directly below:
Photos of the Icelandic Punk Museum
Want to Know More About Icelandic Punk History?
Watch: Rokk í Reykjavík, the famous documentary released in 1982.
Listen: Youtube playlist of Icelandic punk songs.