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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Podcast 211: Johan Í Kollafirði and Famara

This week, we talk to  Johan Í Kollafirði. He's a Faroese actor, radio host, and farmer and a celebrity in a country that typically doesn't allow celebrities. Johan spent several hears homesteading (or squatting, if you take a different view) in an abandoned farm called Famara. It was the start of a plan to create a place that was a unique mix of Utopian retreat, artist's colony, and maybe even halfway house.

We start the show by driving down a treacherous road searching for Famara and Johan. Once we catch up with Johan (spoiler alert: he wasn't at Famara), we learn of the years-long project to restore the abandoned farm, and the Faroese government's attempts to evict him.

We spoke with Johan just as the eviction battle was heating up and making front-page headlines throughout the Faroes. So, we'll end with an update on what happened 10 months later. It's a tale that is at turns funny and heartbreaking.

As always, you can listen on iTunes, on our media player, or on Stitcher Smart Radio. You can also download the show directly here:

And we've got some bonus material as well this week. First, here's another picture of Johan that we liked...

Also, here's a video Johan made of his early days at Famara:

 And finally, here's what Famara looks like now.
Credit: Solborg Bordoy
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