Let It Out: Record your scream for broadcast into the empty Icelandic countryside

[A clever campaign to promote travel to Iceland lets people release their pandemic-related (or other) stress by having their recorded screams broadcast into the empty and beautiful Icelandic countryside, creating presence as transportation until they can “come let it out for real.” This story from CBS News includes a 1:01 video (also available via YouTube) and a 6:54 minute news report about adapting to isolation. –Matthew]

Iceland is broadcasting the world’s screams to relieve coronavirus stress

By Sophie Lewis
July 16, 2020

People around the world are finding different ways to relieve stress during the coronavirus pandemic. Some have tried running, gardening, doing puzzles, cooking — but what about screaming?

Promote Iceland, which encourages tourism to the country, is encouraging people to scream to relieve pent up frustration. And even if you can’t travel to Iceland to do it, you can scream into your device and your voice will be broadcast throughout the empty Icelandic countryside.

A website for the ad campaign shows yellow loudspeakers playing the screams of people from around the globe in front of peaceful scenery like glaciers, caves and waterfalls. A button at the top of the site invites users to join in with the phrase, “Tap to scream.”

“You’ve been through a lot this year and it looks like you need the perfect place to let your frustrations out,” Promote Iceland says. “Somewhere big, vast and untouched. It looks like you need Iceland. Record your scream and we’ll release it in Iceland’s beautiful, wide-open spaces. And when you’re ready, come let it out for real. You’ll feel better, we promise.”

According to a news release, the speakers are located at seven locations across Iceland, including Viðey in Reykjavík, Festarfjall by Grindavík, Skógarfoss, close to Djúpivogur, at the foot of Snæfellsjökull, by Kálfshamarsvík and by Rauðasandur in the Westfjords. People who participate receive a video of their scream as it’s broadcast from one of the stunning locations.

“Prolonged indoor living, loneliness, endless teleconferencing and disruption of daily life, as well as restrictions on travel between countries, have increased people’s stress,” Promote Iceland said. “The campaign is intended to highlight the advantages of Iceland as a destination.”

Zoë Aston, a therapist and mental health consultant, even offered screaming tips to people looking to participate. Some of her advice includes choosing what type of scream to use — volume, words or breath — standing with your feet hip-width apart, bending your knees slightly, relaxing your shoulders, screaming from the gut and following your instincts.

The campaign is light-hearted, but Promote Iceland still wants users to take mental health struggles during the pandemic seriously.

“This is a starting point,” Aston said. “If you need mental health support, it is imperative that you seek out professional help.”

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