– G E N E R A L C O N S I D E R AT I O N S


                                                                   Photo: Gøran Kristensen
                                                                                                        Why does your city wish to take part in
                                                                                                        the competition for the title of European
                                                                                                        Capital of Culture?

                                                                    t’s time for Bodø’s cultural Arcticulation and      This huge threat could overwhelm us. But we
                                                                    to truly open our doors to Europe. Time to          prefer to see the possibilities. By moving the
                                                                    challenge the notion that this is simply a cold     airport one kilometer to the south, we can
                                                                  region, far from civilisation. Only coming alive      transform todays military area to a new city
                                                                  for a couple of months a year when we frolic in       quarter, connected to the rest of the city. It
                                                                  the midnight sun, until we descend once again         brings the possibility to create one of the most
                                                                  into winter darkness and cold.                        sophisticated and culturally smart cities in
                                                                                                                        Europe – here at 67 degrees North!
                                                                  In 2024 we want to articulate how and why
                                                                  people have settled in our region for thousands       And we are in dire need for it. We are losing
                                                                  of years. That it’s because of – not in spite of –    our people. Especially the 25 to 45 year olds
                                                                  how nature and the climate make Nordland an           leave and most don’t come back. Our region
                                                                  abundant land.                                        suffers from the rural exodus which seriously
                                                                                                                        challenges regions like ours across Europe.
                                                                  It’s time to once again take ownership of our         Within the region, the population is ageing and
                                                                  spaces and our landscape. Since the 1950s             especially younger people are moving away
                                                                  Bodø has prospered as a military town, being          from the countryside into the urban centres.
                                                                  Norway’s chief military airbase. But a decision       We have the jobs, but we are not attracting
                                                                  by our Parliament to move the aircraft fleet          enough people to make up for the brain drain.
                                                                  means that our airbase will close, taking with        Population growth in Northern Norway will be
                                                                  it jobs and much city income.                         only half of the national average over the next
25 years if nothing is done. This is a genuine        and connected communities, offers solutions
crisis in our region.                                 built on rebalanced relations between economy
                                                      and ecology.
Part of our challenge is to end the stereotypical
Arctic “Orientalism”. This tendency to objectify      The title European Capital of Culture in 2024
places like ours and lock us in a status of           would help cement Bodø’s transition from
interesting inferiority… How many Europeans           Cold War target to a vibrant, forward thinking
really know what “Arctic” means and what              cultural hub as an attractive career choice for
culture is connected to it? Here’s a chance to        young people. Realization of our vision will see
change this.                                          Bodø as a recognized European cultural city
                                                      in the Arctic, one which will attract people to
Because Bodø is an Arctic city. And we want to        come, and which encourages people to stay and
be the first ever Arctic city to hold the title. To   build a life here.
show Europe that our under-recognised region
is culturally vibrant and resilient.                  Just now we feel it’s the right time to share
                                                      with Europe some of our Arctic values. Values
To share our incredible stories. Our lasting          of resilience, fortitude and ingenuity. The
influence on European culture in the past,            values which enabled us to thrive because, not
producing some of the most spectacular art and        despite of, the challenges nature and culture
literature of medieval Europe. The little-known       are handing us to solve. Us in Nordland and all
story of how much current Europe, the World           of us in Europe and beyond.
even, owes this City for its role at the height
of the Cold War in 1962. And our vision for a         Bodø is ready to transition from Arctic to
future Europe where our values of sustainable         ARCTICulation, from cold to cool.


                                      Does your city plan to involve its
                                      surrounding area? Explain this choice.

      odø will involve the County of Nordland         Decentralisation has been a key driver of our
      which includes 9 regional centres in our        cultural tradition. And today it offers a huge
      Application. Our partner cities and their       opportunity to drive positive strategic change.
cultural centres enable us to present a full          As important as the plans to create a major
spectrum of our region’s culture.                     new cultural centre in Bodø were, as important
                                                      are plans to capacity build and connect smaller
Bodø will fulfil the role as the “Lead City” in the   institutions. Rich, alive, living culture is if
Application, but other centres like Brønnøysund,      anything more important to less populated
Mosjøen, Sandnessjøen, the Islands of Lofoten,        regions like ours than to larger cities. Without
Mo i Rana, Fauske, Narvik, Svolvær, Leknes            them we will continue with the struggle to
and Sortland will be included in the 2024 vision      attract people to work here or to retain the
and programme. This is because the region and         people we have. Keeping culture alive keeps
city are “culturally interwoven”.                     our industries alive.

In addition, we will have cultural cooperation        We also believe that decentralized thinking for
agreements with cities, cultural institutions         regions like us is an important alternative in the
and larger festivals in northern Norway,              face of today’s frequent economic and cultural
including Tromsø, Harstad and Alta. We will           domination by larger cities. That’s why we
see a year as European Capital of Culture as          believe our Application offers something really
an opportunity to look north-east, to further         important to Europe. For regions like ours –
develop our bonds with the northernmost parts         geographically spread and with a relatively
of Norway and the rest of Barents region.             small population.
We will use the geography of Bodø and                works. One which builds on the fundamentals
                                                                  Nordland to explore the big challenges regions       of a decentralised democracy, cultivated and
                                                                  like ours face, but also try to share positive       developed over the years by the people of
                                                                  ideas. From 2025 – 2045 we know we need a            Nordland. But reinterpreted for the challenges
                                                                  completely new approach to how our society           of Europe today.

                                                                                                       Explain briefly the overall cultural
                                                                                                       profile of your city.

                                                                        ince people set foot in this area some         cultural competence. The need to strengthen
                                                                        10.000 years ago, they have restructured       the cultural infrastructure at regional level is a
                                                                        and adapted their way of living in response    key strategic goal.
                                                                  to the change of times. Most importantly,
                                                                  people here have shaped a cultural system            THE BIRTH OF BODØ
                                                                  which has been absolutely central to our ability     There are a very special set of democratic
                                                                  to survive and thrive in a region which some         circumstances which underpin the cultural
                                                                  would find forbidding and inhospitable. For          development of Bodø and Nordland. Norway’s
                                                                  the people of Nordland, distance is no object –      first modern constitution did not arrive until
                                                                  the next city may be hours drive away, but the       1814. It was based on utopian ideas from
                                                                  region is still connected due to willed politics     the French Revolution and the American
        4                                                         of spreading important institutions all over the     declaration of independence, and on those of
                                                                  county, expecting the institutions to seek their     philosophers such as Kant, Locke, Jon Stuart
                                                                  audience, and not the other way around.              Mill and Adam Smith. Overnight these ideas

                                                                                                                       changed Norway and from being a province in
                                                                  CULTURAL ASSETS AND CHALLENGES                       one of Europe’s least liberal states, Norway
                                                                  In recent years, and especially with the advent      became arguably Europe’s freest and most
                                                                  of the highly significant Stormen cultural           democratic constitution.
                                                                  centre (new City library and concert hall) the
                                                                  citizens of Bodø have seen a new “cultural           The impact on our Region was no less dramatic.
                                                                  heart” put back into the centre of their city.       The establishment of the town of Bodø was part
                                                                  Still, a good deal of work remains to be done.       of what was effectively a regional strategy for
                                                                  Bodø and Nordland do not offer a complete            Norway’s peripheral regions. In essence, this
                                                                  cultural menu today. We have great music and         was an early model for Regional Economic
                                                                  a wonderful library, but we can and should be        development.
                                                                  much stronger for literature and theater, dance
                                                                  and the visual arts.                                 SAMI CULTURE
                                                                                                                       The north of Nordland is part of Sapmi, the Sami
                                                                  Links between the performing arts,   the             area that stretches between Norway, Sweden,
                                                                  museums and the university are a key priority        Finland and Russia. Today an estimated 5000
                                                                  of this Application. We also need to connect         Sami in Nordland mostly live in urban areas
                                                                  more effectively with our partner cities to          like Narvik, Hamarøy, Tysfjord and Evenes.
                                                                  become once again a model for decentralized          Three endangered Sami languages are spoken
                                                                  cultural delivery.                                   within Nordland’s borders. It is claimed that
                                                                                                                       some 20% of the population here have Sami
                                                                  A SET OF REGIONAL CULTURAL HUBS                      background of some sort, but a lot of them do
                                                                  The counterbalance to this is the fact that the      not identify with the Sami culture.
                                                                  county of Nordland brings to our programme
                                                                  a range of festivals, museums, galleries,            THE WAR AND THE COLD WAR TARGET
                                                                  cultural houses and other cultural institutions.     Bodø’s city centre was heavily bombed in
                                                                  All year round there is something going on.          1940. Actually, the bombing ruined both the
                                                                  Nevertheless, we need to better connect our          visual culture of the architecture and cultural
                                                                  different actors on the European cultural stage.     heritage of the first urban settlement of Bodø.
                                                                  We will establish at regional level a centre for


                                                                                           A LTA
Northern Lights Winter                                                               Finnmark
Festival                                                            TROMSØ
Week of Culture, Cool-tour                                       Tr o m s
and Nature
Sortland Jazz Festival
Rock Against Drugs
                                                                                                   · THE HAMSUN CENTRE
The Regine Days
                                                                                                   · ÁRRAN JULEVSAMI CENTER
                                                                                                   · MUSIC IN NORDLAND
                                                         Nordland                                  Narvik Winter Festival
                                                                                                   Markomeannu Festival
· NORDLAND VISUAL THEATRE                    BODØ                                                  Cement Blues Festival
                                                                                                   Good Enough Festival
Stamsund int. Theatre Festival
                                                                                                   Saga Play Week
Lofoten int. Photo Festival
Lofoten int. Literature Festival
Lofoten int. Art Festival                                                                          S A LT E N
Lofoten Piano Festival                                                                             · BODØ CATHEDRAL                  5
Querini-days                                                                                       · BODØ RYTHM GROUP
Lofotr Viking Festival                                                                             · NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AVIATION
Puffin Festival                                                                                    · ARCTIC PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
                                                                                                   · STORMEN LIBRARY
                                                                                                   · STORMEN CONCERT HALL
                                                          HELGEL AND
                                             TRONDHEIM                                             · BODØ SPEKTRUM
                                                          · NORDLAND THEATRE
                                                                                                   Nordland Music Festival
                                                          · ÅARJELHSAEMIEN THEATRE
                                                                                                   Parken Music Festival
                                                          · THE PETTER DASS MUSEUM
                                                                                                   Bodø Jazz Open
                                                          · WORLD HERITAGE, VEGA
                                                                                                   The Bodø Festival
                                 N O R WAY                Winter Light Theatre Festival
                                                                                                   UpNorth Street Art Festival
                                                          Træna Music Festival
                                                                                                   Bodø Biennial
                                                          The Vega Days
                                                                                                   Salten Blues Festival
                                                          Hemnes Jazz Festival
                                                                                                   Blåfrost Music Festival
                                                          Verket Music Festival
                                                                                                   Bodø int. Organ Festival
                                                          The Melting Pot Music Festival
                                                          Tith Market Days
                  BERGEN                                  Petter Dass Festival
                                                          Galleria Art Festival
                                                          Roots Festival

                     S TAVA N G E R

                                                                                                   BODØ   Arctic Circle

                                                                                              N O R WAY
In the early 1950s, Bodø was given the status        This has forced Bodø in to a dramatic
                                                                  as the main military airport and a NATO-base         reconsideration of its future. Culture at the
                                                                  in Norway – with military personnel from             centre in this reorientation. With the foundation
                                                                  all over Europe and the Atlantic. The town           of the new concert hall and the newly built
                                                                  therefore developed from a war-ridden town           library, and the focus on urban development,
                                                                  to an antagonist for the European states on          the local community and its citizens are moving
                                                                  the opposite side of the Iron Curtain as the         to a new destiny. Get it wrong, and we are lost.
                                                                  centre of NATO activities in Northern Europe.        Vital choices need to be made.
                                                                  Overnight our neighbour Soviet Russia became
                                                                  our enemy. The world drew close to nuclear           Over the next years the existing airport and
                                                                  Armageddon in 1960 when the U2 spy plane             military area will be developed into the city
                                                                  was shot down over the Soviet Union on its way       district of Hernes with up to 15 000 units of
                                                                  to its secret base in Bodø.                          housing and 20 000 new jobs. In this context
                                                                                                                       Bodø as whole is being reconstructed with the
                                                                  NEW WINGS                                            aim to create one of the most technologically
                                                                  Today again, the city is on the verge of change.     and culturally sophisticated cities in the world
                                                                  The Norwegian air force base is closing down,        here at 67 degrees North.
                                                                  moving thousands of jobs away from the area.
                                                                  And again, the city and its people need to react
                                                                  and adapt.

                                                                                                       Explain the concept of the programme
                                                                                                       which would be launched if the city is
        6                                                                                              designated as European Capital of Culture.

                                                                        ur concept is ARCTICulation. We feel           outside of our part of the world. But an example
                                                                        there is a lot in this word and concept        of how little people really know about the Arctic.
                                                                        that relates to us. Arctic and Articulation,
                                                                  of course. But also Communication. Art.              Arcticulation provides an opportunity to show
                                                                  Cultivation. Community. They are key words for       that there is much more to our part of Northern
                                                                  us. And they all find themselves in our Concept      Indeed, for most Europeans “Arctic” first of all
                                                                  for 2024.                                            means unsuited for human life. It is not where
                                                                                                                       anybody would like to establish a business or
                                                                  Arcticulation is our chance to show Europe the       take up work, even if they might like to travel
                                                                  pulse of the Arctic. Four times a day, nearly        there to see the polar bears, the Northern
                                                                  400 million cubic meters of water have been          Lights and Sami culture. That needs to change.
                                                                  streaming through Saltstraumen, among the            We suffer from chronic shortages of labour,
                                                                  strongest tidal currents in the world, nourishing    especially qualified labour, and an inability to
                                                                  one of the world’s largest populations of sea        attract new creative industries.
                                                                  trout, enormous halibut and coalfish, monkfish,
                                                                  wolffish, shrimp and more. The Gulf Stream           Arcticulation aims to show ourselves as a true
                                                                  is maybe our most important lifeline. Without        region in Europe and the world. Not as a distant
                                                                  warm water keeping the sea outside Nordland          periphery, but as the prosperous, innovative
                                                                  free from ice and the fish accessible we would       and creative area it is. Or at least could be…
                                                                  most likely not be here. The sublime nature          Closely connected to the European continent.
                                                                  of the arctic, the proximity to Russia and the       Arcticulation will show why and how Bodø and
                                                                  mix of Norwegian and multiethnic culture(s)          Nordland is central to Europe. No longer an
                                                                  together with the indigenous Sami culture is         exotic periphery.
                                                                  part of what we mean to arcticulate.
                                                                                                                       The Winters of Bodø are, after all, less harsh
                                                                  Bodø, despite the earlier truism about long,         than those of central Europe; with temperatures
                                                                  dark winters, enjoys more daylight than any          rarely descending much below freezing. So, let
                                                                  other city in the world. A little-known fact         us Arcticulate the real, unexpected and hidden
                                                                                                                       elements of Europe’s least understood region.
                         LO N G - T E R M S T R AT E G Y


 Photo: Bodø kommune
                                   Describe the cultural strategy that is
                                   in place in your city at the time of the
                                   application including plans for sustaining
                                   the cultural activities beyond the title

  n the last year, Bodø and Nordland County        situation. Culture needs to be for everyone and,
  have produced two complementary cultural         in the longer term, created by everyone. Our
  strategy documents. Those documents have         7 shared strategic goals are described in the
been endorsed by Nordland County Council           table on the next page.
in February 2018 and by Bodø City Council in
March 2018.                                        This is not a short- term fix, designed just to
                                                   tick the boxes for our Application. There is a
Children and young people are a key group for      real and urgent challenge to change the focus
the cultural strategy. We aim to strengthen our    of our city given the impact of the airbase
work to empower young people to becoming           closure, but also the economic challenges we
independent actors in culture and in society in    face if we continue to lose our people and fail
the future. If we are to succeed in our long-      to attract newcomers.
term aim to be seen as an innovative European
cultural region, investment in the young people    So the vision of Bodø as a creative and cultural
on whom a successful future depends is             city, where cold is replaced by “cool”, is vital for
fundamental.                                       a sustainable future. Returning to the values
                                                   on which our region was created – a holistic
Another key element in our cultural strategy is    approach to the connections between culture
that culture should be available for all people    and lifestyle – will be the thing that ensures we
not regarding their background or economic         prosper in the longer term.
The proposed new city – built on these very           The smart city needs a kind of “cultural
                                                                       principles – will be the clearly visible feature      smartness” or consciousness in which we
                                                                       which showcases our ideas. But the kind of            capture and use the essential connection
                                                                       society we want cannot succeed on gleaming            between people, architecture, culture and
                                                                       new buildings alone.                                  nature. That’s what we really want to build.

                                                                          STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES                               GOALS

                                                                          To reverse the image of Nordland                   More attractive and exciting to visit, to study, to
                                                                          – internally and externally                        work and to stay in
                                                                          To widen the production base for culture           More producing, co-producing and cross working
                                                                          To connect with groups still not engaged           Addressing issues like diversity, mental Health,
                                                                          To make better use of unusual spaces               New cultural areas and venues , driven by where
                                                                                                                             people live
                                                                          To create a connected web of “hotspots”            Facilities, technology, training are improved to
                                                                          especially for young people                        create a strong and widely recognized cultural
                                                                          To make our cultural offer more international      More international collaborations. Better links
                                                                                                                             with European artists and institutions
                                                                          To improve the careers and opportunities for       A major capacity building programme which
                                                                          cultural professionals                             improves skills, experience and increases jobs

1 . C O N T R I B U T I O N TO T H E LO N G - T E R M S T R AT E G Y

                                                                                                             Plans to strengthen the capacity of the
                                                                                                             cultural and creative sectors.

                                                                                                             How is the European Capital of Culture
                                                                                                             included in this strategy?

                                                                                e have grouped the answers to these          than having things “done to them”. That is why
                                                                                two questions together because of            the two projects are, for us, so interconnected.
                                                                                their close connection.                      We also see a fundamental connection between
                                                                       The decision to bid for the European Capital of       the need to develop and internationalise
                                                                       Culture, speaks loudly of our long- term desire       our cultural sector as set out in the cultural
                                                                       to use the bidding process and the title as a         strategies and the build-up to ECoC 2024. So in
                                                                       bridge over which we can reach the long term          our programme line “Transition” we set out a
                                                                       vision we have for Bodø and Nordland.                 pathway which is a widespread capacity building
                                                                                                                             programme called “Room for Culture?” not
                                                                       We have seen some of the best examples                just for people in the cultural sector (though
                                                                       from other cultural capitals and how a major          that will be a key element). Instead it will reach
                                                                       physical regeneration programme connected             out to people in all forms of life, education
                                                                       to a well-planned and inspirational culture           and work. It will be a kind of “Stealth-Fare”
                                                                       programme can galvanise people. Making them           programme…some people may not even realise
                                                                       an integral part of the building process rather       their capacity is being built!
The Transition programme will focus on 2 key         determined to create a programme of change
features:                                            management built around the need to equip our
(i) More “joined-up” work both across cultural       people and organisations (cultural, economic,
     organisations and with other sectors            social) to respond to those challenges.
(ii) A major capacity building programme.
                                                     Transition focusses on 3 “Cs”
Joined-up working                                    - Competancy (skills to survive and thrive)
Both cultural strategies have indicated a need       - Character (personal growth, resilience)
to be more connected at cultural level. Both         - Culture (connections, shared history and
between genres and across geographical                  values).
                                                     We will deliver this by creating an action
We are absolutely serious about creating the         learning programme which uses cultural life
multiplier effect between our different cultural     not as a separate sector, but as an energizing
players so that the sum of their work is far         and creative force in the process of designing a
greater than the individual parts. It’s not quite    sustainable and culturally smart future for our
so simple in a region as geographically spread       region. Using dialogue not just to try to find new
as our is.  However, the reality of our ability to   answers to some of those global challenges,
cope with our dispersed region is that we have       but also as a way to vitalise relations between
learned how to work with it.                         people. Making our society more lively and
                                                     creative. We have already seen this happen
We are delighted that the University has already     during the development of this Application in
taken a full and active role in developing our       the way our young people have become engaged
Application. A city whose future is built around     in the process to a degree we simply did not
a balanced appreciation of the balance between       expect (see Q 19)
culture, work, nature, climate and economics                                                              9
may not technically be the most efficient way        The Transition programme, for example, and
of being. But for many it offers a genuine           our plans to strengthen artists and the creative
alternative to a world driven by number              sector and how to attract these people to the
crunchers who -as they say – know the cost of        Arctic would not be possible to anything like
everything and the value of nothing.                 the degree we need without the 2024 European
                                                     Capital of Culture impetus. This process will
Capacity building                                    allow us to establish more cultural arenas,
This leads us to our capacity building               connecting the professionals with the new
programme – “Room for Culture?” More detail          talents, place more art in public areas and
is set out in the next section of our Application.   create new production arenas. Our aim is to
But we are using the “external drivers”, the         be seen as a European best practice example
threats and opportunities of migration (in           for decentralised cultural development and
and out) and the airfield development. We are        delivery.

  Photo: Per-Inge Johnsen
                                                                                                             Set out the longterm cultural, economic
                                                                                                             and social impact on the City (including in
                                                                                                             terms of urban development)

                                                                             ur long-term vision can be summarised           of all ways of life, integrated to encourage
                                                                             in two numbers. 25 45. Let’s explain.           learning and sharing through music, theatre,
                                                                             2025 would be the first year of a Bodø          installations and paintings.
                                                                       2024 ECoC legacy, and 20 further years would
                                                                       take us to 2045, and our 20 year legacy.              The Barents region is a recognised cultural
                                                                                                                             hotspot in Northern Europe where exchanges
                                                                       But that’s not the real point. 25/45 is the age       and collaboration between communities and
                                                                       group we need to build our future around. We          artists has forged greater understanding
                                                                       are losing that group from our region now.            between people and nations, including relations
                                                                       And few are coming back. We also fail to              with Russia.
                                                                       attract 25/45 year olds to work here. We have
                                                                       a particular challenge to retain and attract          Attracting national and international figures
                                                                       women in that key age group, not least from a         to perform is no longer difficult. Many of our
                                                                       cultural perspective as broadly speaking that         venues are firmly on the map. Our cultural
                                                                       group largely forms the core cultural audience        competence has been recognised across Europe
                                                                       in most European cities.                              where “Room for Culture?” has been emulated
         10                                                                                                                  as a best practice capacity building model.
                                                                       Therefore we will use 25/45 to form the basis
1 . C O N T R I B U T I O N TO T H E LO N G - T E R M S T R AT E G Y

                                                                       to assess the long term impact of Bodø 2024.          Narvik Winter Festival is considered amongst
                                                                       After all, today’s 18 year olds will be 25 in 2025.   the best 5 winter festivals in Europe.
                                                                       Today’s 45 year olds will be approaching 60.
                                                                       Today’s 8 year olds will be 15. We want more          Bodø library is one of Scandinavia’s best 5
                                                                       of the 18 year olds to be here at 25. We want         libraries and also heads a thriving regional
                                                                       the 45 year olds to be active, alert, healthy and     library network, encouraging new writers to
                                                                       involved in the cultural and community life of        build on the traditions of Petter Dass and Knut
                                                                       Bodø and Nordland. And we are particularly            Hamsun.
                                                                       keen to reverse the tide of women leaving our
                                                                       region.                                               Lofoten piano festival is voted no 1 in Europe by
                                                                                                                             the Pianist Magazine.

                                                                       SO WHAT WILL 2025 LOOK LIKE?                          Museum visitor numbers have increased by 25%
                                                                                                                             from 2018. The Stockfish Tranpsort Museum
                                                                       In 2025, Bodø and Nordland will have gained           is one of Europe’s most interesting industrial
                                                                       a Europe-wide reputation as a place where             museums and has won several architecture
                                                                       culture forms a vital part of life, constantly        awards. The Cold War museum now opened in
                                                                       creating new experiences and values. These            an iconic venue on the former military airfield.
                                                                       qualities set the tone for an area which              A new contemporary arts museum is now under
                                                                       energises the young people living and working         construction
                                                                       here. More and more new settlers are attracted
                                                                       to a place which is tolerant, and welcoming.          Economy
                                                                       Creative yet technologically advanced.                The Nordland business sector has moved up
                                                                                                                             the value chain. No longer simply a commodity
                                                                       Culture                                               producer. Industries such as hydropower and
                                                                       Bodø is now known as an important and                 green industry, and mineral production have
                                                                       innovative European cultural city. Where              created high value jobs which attract workers
                                                                       culture is not just performances, installations       to Nordland.
                                                                       and concerts. Culture is the spiritual dimension
Young people still study, travel and collaborate    Building on the strength of the University’s
outside the region, but mainly to earn the skills   nursing degree, we have become a leading
to secure better jobs when they return home.        European centre in developing programmes
Numbers of students returning to Bodø after         linking culture and health and well-being.
studying away from here has grown to almost
50%.                                                Urban development
                                                    In the coming years the dominant urban
We have increased by 25% the number of new          development project will be the new city area
workers coming to settle here every year.           created after the opening of the new airport on
                                                    the south-western point of the Bodø peninsula.
Many young creatives are building successful        Even before the new airport is operational,
businesses using natural products and turning       planned to be in 2025, the new urban area can
them into internationally desirable items.          begin development on the former airbase area.

Visitor numbers have increased by 20%.              A municipal masterplan will show how this
                                                    large area, close to existing parts of Bodø,
Social                                              can be formed into a compact, sustainable
Bodø and Nordland have repositioned as              and liveable city to cope with the city of Bodø’s
a region known for developing a balanced            growth through the next 50-100 years – as well
lifestyle that is more focused on values such       as from 25-45. In the future, this area will have
as collaboration, trust and reciprocity. We find    approximately 20 000 jobs and 30 000 inhabitants
opportunities for people to contribute to their     living in zero emission neighbourhoods with
communities, building on a long and good            schools, kindergarten, shops, parks, work and       11
tradition of “virtue” (unpaid voluntary work) in    social meeting places in walking distance from
sports, outdoor activities and cultural events.     where they live. The municipal masterplan will
                                                    be completed in 2022. Throughout this planning
People expect to and enjoy having artists living    process, the entirety of cultural heritage in the
around them and actively participating in the       area will be considered for preservation and
design of community activity and use of places      future repurposing.
and spaces.
                                                    By 2025, we intend that Bodø will have been
Our Newton Centres for cultural education (see      able to make a major difference in the way the
Q11) have become an established model for           Arctic is recognised. 2025 – 2045 will see the
involving people of all ages in learning about      long -term effects of an effective Arcticulation
their heritage and culture.                         in the way the Arctic Region is seen as a go to
                                                    place not one to avoid unless you have to come.
Nordland wins a European award for exceptional      Cool not cold.
public art.

                                    Outline briefly the plans for monitoring
                                    and evaluation.

Our Monitoring system will be built on 2                measure in particular the economic and
features.                                               social impacts set out in Q8 above.
i) Firstly a set of core of economic and social     ii) Secondly a more qualitative analysis of
    indicators to measure improvements to the           what we have described as a “Dialogues for
    long - term success of  Bodø and Nordland           a Living City.” We will also analyze what the
    using the 7 objectives set out in Q5 for            ECoC year is doing with population in Bodø
    strategic cultural development. These will          and Nordland. We will develop this concept
    also add some key economic indicators to            in partnership with Nord University and
                                                        Nordland Research Institute.
We are also keen to share the development of           and our plans to build a new cultural model for
                                                                       this “better lifestyle articulation” with a number     our Region.
                                                                       of other European partners who we find are
                                                                       also interested in this aspect. These include          Dialogues for A Living City
                                                                       Kaunas 2022, one of our fellow 2024 candidates         One of our strategic objectives has been to
                                                                       – Stavanger 2008, Turku 2011, Aarhus 2017 and          make a closer connection between City and
                                                                       Valletta 2018.                                         University. This Application has already begun
                                                                                                                              that process with significant contributions to
                                                                       We will also connect with Liverpool University’s       our Application through the participation of
                                                                       Institute of Cultural Capital should we progress       senior faculty members in our various working
                                                                       to Phase 2. We are keen to learn lessons around        groups.
                                                                       measuring longer term impacts and building
                                                                       on their work to include more social and well-         We have also spoken much about work-life
                                                                       being dimensions.                                      balance and also creating a more culturally
                                                                                                                              inclusive approach to urban development and
                                                                       Core Indicators                                        smart city technologies. We believe this will
                                                                       The table below/opposite shows some of our             help solve our 25/45 issue.
                                                                       core indicators and current baselines.   For
                                                                       our core indicators, we have connected the             In Phase 2 therefore, and in cooperation with
                                                                       strategic objectives and success factors in Q5-        Nord University we will build a methodology
                                                                       8, together with our plans for capacity building.      to measure what we are calling “dialogues for
                                                                       This is to create the indicator framework in           a living city”.   Our plans for this period also
                                                                       the table, taking further the “3cs” approach to        involve making connections with the parallel
                                                                       capacity building. In this way there is a clear        work taking place in those European partners
                                                                       and measurable connection between Bodø 2024            we identified above.

                                                                       BODØ 2025 – 45 ARCTICULATION IMPACT
1 . C O N T R I B U T I O N TO T H E LO N G - T E R M S T R AT E G Y

                                                                        FACTORS          OUR PLAN                  BASELINE STATEMENT             SUCCESS FROM 2025

                                                                        CHALLENGE        Change the image of       At present the region is       From cold to cool.
                                                                        AND              Bodø and Nordland.        seen as undynamic and not      Bodø recognised as a top 20
                                                                        CHANGE           Create more ambitious     somewhere where many           European small city cultural
                                                                                         mentality in the city.    Europeans would come to        destination.
                                                                                         Increase both visitor     work.                          Young people feel they live in
                                                                                         numbers and numbers       Too many 25-45 year olds       a cultural hotspot. Increase
                                                                                         of people coming here     leave. Too few come.           by nearly 50 % of students
                                                                                         to work.                                                 returning to region after
                                                                                                                                                  leaving to study elsewhere.
                                                                                                                                                  25 % Increase in visitors
                                                                                                                                                  and a 20 % increase in new

                                                                        COLLA-           Cultural Production,      Cultural Partnerships need     Hotspot model is recognised
                                                                        BORATE,          Cultural Capacity.        to be stronger as described    as decentralised best
                                                                        CAPACITY         Cultural Careers          in the cultural strategy.      practice.
                                                                                         are addressed and         No of jobs in culture          More young people Impact of
                                                                                         developed through         currently approx 2000.         Transition programme
                                                                                         Transform.                Need to improve                20% increase in culture jobs.
                                                                                                                   connectivity and career

                                                                        CREATIVE,        New cultural and          Number of creative             New venues set out in Q8 are
                                                                        CONNECT,         creative businesses.      businesses is very low.        in place.
                                                                        COMMUNITY        More European cultural    Need to be more                Number of creative
                                                                                         connections.              international in outlook and   businesses increase by 100%.
                                                                                         Connect with “under-      content.                       More venues are located near
                                                                                         consumers of culture”     Standard audiences are         where people live and hike.
                                                                                                                   good, but we fail to reach     Audiences improve by 30
                                                                                                                   and involve significant        %. Greater penetration of
                                                                                                                   groups.                        “under-consumers”.
2 . C U LT U R A L A N D
                              ARTISTIC CONTENT


 Photo: Morten Eriksen
                                    What is the artistic vision and strategy for
                                    the cultural programme of the year?

  n developing the artistic vision and strategy
  for our bid we have related our discussions
  to the following description of the main
concept which emerged from and energized our
                                                                 From a cold war target
programme development group:
                                                              to a European cultural hub.
Our programme will celebrate and reflect the            We are articulating an arctic perspective
qualities of the Arctic. Its unique relationship                 on today and tomorrow
with land and sea and with nature. Its unknown                through borderless culture.
and un-appreciated history. Its invention,                   With respect for our histories,
resilience and imagination. Its surprising and                    the land and the sea,
inspiring connections with Europe. Its potential                aiming for new horizons.
for a positive contribution to the questions
which challenge us Europeans.

Our artistic vision is connected to the pulse
of nature. The sun, with its one- year pulse of
disappearing completely in the winter, only to
stay up for a full month in summer. The moon,           Our artistic vision is connected
and the monthly pulse of the tides and the              to the pulse of nature.
following currents and maelstroms. The fish,       we are, living in some of the most vulnerable
                                                         coming and going at the same time year after       areas of Europe. Seeing white snow on the
                                                         year, making it possible to harvest, preserve      mountain tops and crystal clear sea water is a
                                                         and trade in a sustainable and natural way.        constant reminder of some of our times’ most
                                                         The ever-changing and intense light, either        important challenges, influencing everything
                                                         the midnight sun keeping you awake in the          from how we live our private lives to politics.
                                                         summer nights, or the magic aurora borealis        Our programme will articulate and explore
                                                         suddenly dancing on the dark blue winter sky.      these connections and seek to give them
                                                         The movement of the Sami people and their          universal value to share with an international
                                                         reindeer, following the seasons and pastures.      audience.

                                                         Our vision and strategy is an inclusive view on    Like art, the pulse of nature has its irregularities.
                                                         our 21st century society. One which combines       The tides rise and fall not in six hour cycles,
                                                         indigenous Sami culture and expressions            to match the day, but in six hours and twenty-
                                                         as much as traditional and contemporary            some minutes. The midnight sun just avoids
                                                         Norwegian culture and the culture that new         following the calendar, staying up in Bodø from
                                                         migrants and ex-pats contribute to the mix.        9 June to 8 July. The cod from the Barents
                                                                                                            Sea normally arriving just after New Year. The
                                                         Our aim is to invite Europe and a broader          sun returning on 13 January, instead of New
                                                         international audience with our projects to        Year’s Day. The erratic aurora borealis. Always
                                                         experience this exceptional interconnectedness     slightly «off», or unpredictable, reminding us
                                                         of culture(s) and nature, prospering from the      who is truly in charge. Like the actress earning
                                                         same resources continuously for thousands          her «Kunstpause» or the drummer hanging
                                                         and thousands of years. This awareness that        the snare slightly behind the beat, everything
                                                         people of the Arctic have of the environment in    streaming within a steady pulse, but slightly
       14                                                a concrete, personal way. We know how fragile      offset, like a true artist.
2 . C U LT U R A L A N D A R T I S T I C C O N T E N T

                                                                                            Give a general overview of the structure
                                                                                            of your cultural programme, including
                                                                                            the range and diversity of the activities/
                                                                                            main events that will mark the year.

                                                                 THE PROGRAMME IS STRUCTURED AROUND THREE MAIN THEMES,
                                                                ARTICULATED THROUGH A BROAD PALETTE OF DIFFERENT ARTISTIC
                                                                               EXPRESSIONS AND ART FORMS.

                                                            THE ART OF NATURE                   FISH AND SHIPS                        TRANSITION
THE ART OF NATURE is about exploring art              and how it has impacted on our collective
in – or from – an arctic perspective. Building        consciousness and confidence.
on the idea of being one with nature and the
environment, as opposed to hiding from it. We         TRANSITION is highlighting connections with
are programming projects and events that bring        city development and capacity building projects.
art into the nature, and vice versa. We want to       The towns and centres of Nordland have
articulate our responsibility of the nature we        adapted to change through history, surviving
are part of.                                          the rise and fall of the industrial era, becoming
                                                      modern societies. In the years coming we will
FISH AND SHIPS is about our history, and              again be challenged, as we are developing a
through the programme we are taking aim               smart, sustainable region.
at communicating both the story of living in
Nordland, and how our story is still living all       Transition also relates to our ambition to build
around us today – our living (hi)story. The           on and develop a number of regional festivals
story of stockfish trade that has made such an        and events. Currently they are good, but they
important contribution to the development of          can be better. By investing in their development
our nation, and how it’s still a living part of our   between now and 2024, they can move from
everyday life when the fishing boats and factory      good to great in 2024. Great too as a long-term
trawlers dock right in the Bodø city centre.          legacy of quality international festivals which
It also looks at and shares with a number             continue to work with European partners and
of European partners our Cold War history             draw larger and more diverse audiences.

      THE YEAR 2024 WILL BE STRUCTURED BY SEVERAL HIGHLIGHT EVENTS                                        15


        HERE COMES THE SUN – Opening 13 January, the day the sun is back to Nordland
       WINTER FESTIVAL – Equinox 20 March, when the day is equal length all over Europe
                MAJOR SUMMER SPECTACLE – Midnight sun 22 May – 21 July
                AUTUMN STORMS EVENT – Autumnal equinox, 22 September
                      ARCTIC LIGHTS – Refraction from 29 November

They are not intended as a strict rule or             autumnal equinox. The period of midnight sun
template for the programme, but rather a part         and winter refraction, or «dark period» (which
of the programme itself, articulating how the         really is a misleading name, the winter lights
people of Nordland in various ways celebrate          being the most exotic to foreigners) is equally
these happenings every year. It is common             present in people’s consciousness – Facebook
practice to take a break from work to see the         walls and Instagram accounts flooding with
sun returning. People flock to the top floors of      aurora borealis or bright-as-the-day midnight
the hotels or put on their coats and gather on        hikes, depending on the season.
the roof of their workplace, just to see the first
sun rays of the year.                                 Our vision is that in 2024, our citizens will
                                                      adapt their practice of welcoming the seasons
Equinox, on the contrary, is not commonly             to welcoming in our special cultural seasons.
celebrated in our culture, but the idea of this       Turning out in force to share a programme
day being equal for all of Europe seems like          which helps them to unlock the stories and
a great challenge for our artists to explore          mysteries of arctic cultural life and the depth
in the making of our programme, as with the           of our European cultural connections.

                                                                 This is a selection of projects which will form the core of the 2024 programme.
                                                               We have not clustered them against the themes. Our reasoning is that many fit more
                                                             than one theme. So rather than creating an artificial grouping of “best fit” projects, our
                                                               design feature shown above illustrates which themes relate to each of our projects.

                                                              VIND I HÅRET (WIND IN YOUR HAIR)               an app, where both facts and fun stories pop
                                                                                                             up on your phone as you walk. Maybe you are
                                                                                                             passing a bench where someone experienced
                                                                                                             their first kiss? Or perhaps you are straight
                                                                                                             above an F-16 shelter? Or was it a Viking grave?
                                                         Wind in your Hair is a different kind of art
                                                         and culture trail. The trail is in itself an        A trail from central Bodø to the university is
                                                         articulation of our culture, as being Norwegian     already part of the urban development plans.
                                                         is almost synonymous with “exposing yourself        It will be running through the areas becoming
                                                         to the elements”. Walking on this trail you         available when the air strip is moved; starting
                                                         will become Norwegian yourself with wind            at the downtown quay, where you see the
                                                         in your hair and possibly getting soaked by         regular ship traffic pass the historic fort,
                                                         the ocean spray on a stormy day or floating         going through the «reconstruction district» of
       16                                                in the eerie light of a cloudless arctic winter     Bodø (an observable result of the World War II
                                                         day. The trail is not about making the trip as      bombing) further through the current airport
                                                         comfortable as possible. The trail will hug the     which will be developed as a «Port of Culture»
2 . C U LT U R A L A N D A R T I S T I C C O N T E N T

                                                         shoreline, making you literally feel how we live    (see project below), housing the Bodø 2024
                                                         here because of nature, not in spite of it. Our     headquarters. From here through the new city
                                                         European far and near neighbours will be able       district, across the former military air base,
                                                         to understand much better what Bodø and the         past the new Museum of Historic Stockfish
                                                         arctic circle are about on this immersive art,      Transport and along the shoreline.
                                                         nature and urban history experience.
                                                                                                             Potential partners: KORO (Public Art Norway)
                                                         The culmination of the project Vind i Håret is to
                                                         give the trail a dimension of art by challenging
                                                         a number of important European artists the                        PORT OF CULTURE
                                                         like of Tomás Saraceno, Per Kirkeby, Jeppe
                                                         Hein, Anish Kapoor, or Monica Bonvicini to
                                                         create installations along the trail, exposed to
                                                         the arctic weather, telling us and our visitors
                                                         new stories of who we are. This project will        Port of Culture is about re-using and reviving
                                                         be the perfect sequel to Artscape Nordland          disused buildings. As Bodø’s Main Air Force
                                                         (realized 1992-1998 and 2009-2015), a project       Station is closing down, Bodø will have a
                                                         that developed an internationally significant       «once-in-history» opportunity to create a
                                                         contemporary art collection in the public space     sustainable, dynamic and both technologically
                                                         all over the region. The art works are created      and culturally smart city as 3,400 acres of land
                                                         based on the conditions inherent to Nordland.       free up for urban development. In connection
                                                         On the Vind i Håret art trail we take this to the   with New City, New Airport and Vind i Håret we
                                                         next level and present new art works which          have initiated a project with the architect who
                                                         engage in a dialogue with their surroundings        designed the current airport terminal building,
                                                         within walking distance from each other.            Per Morten Wik at Boarch architects.
                                                         Vind i Håret has a participatory element where
                                                         the collected ideas and experiences from the        Mr Wik and Boarch have made their contribution
                                                         local citizens will be part of the story through    to our bid by providing plans to prepare the
terminal building (which will be deserted           about their success in part being a result of
by mid 2024 as the new airport will open) to        Bodø investing in rooms and instruments,
become a cultural and creative link between         uttering their concern for the next generation
the new and the old city, as well as between the    if this infrastructure is not cared for. As Bodø
different city eras of the “before” and “after”.    is growing, the foundation of a success like The
We want to set up headquarters of Bodø 2024         Bodø Wave needs public care to keep growing.
in the terminal building, as well as initiating a   Band on the runway can be an incentive for the
creative “port” for creative industries, cultural   city to prepare for a new Bodø Wave, by giving
organizations and producers to settle there         the young pop and rock scene attention and
from 2024 onwards. As a legacy of the ECoC          support in the years leading up to 2024.
2024 the then disused former airport would
turn into a Port of Culture – with co-working       Potential partner: Room for Resistance/Night
spaces, office and gallery space, affordable        Tartu Strategy Tartu 2024 Candidate City
ateliers and performance spaces as well as
an exhibition space suitable for contemporary
visual art that is currently missing in the city.             MIDSUMMER MYTHOLOGY

            BAND ON THE RUNWAY

                                                    No programme for our region would be
                                                    complete without bringing in the wonder and
                                                    excitement of our Norse culture and mythology
Band on the Runway will be a music festival,        (of which Nordland is a cradle), the Trolls and
taking stage on the current air strip in the end    Talking Mountains.
of June 2024. The new airport will open 7 June                                                         17
2024, over night making the current airport –       Midsummer Mythology – will be a huge outdoor
including landing strip, terminal building and      family event where the creatures of our past
other infrastructure – the perfect stage for the    provide the basis for a weekend of mythological
largest festival in the history of Bodø. Checking   culture. The link between the magical, scary
in through the airport security control, the        creatures which filled our childhood with fear
audience will board a musical round trip of         and excitement and our relationship with nature
European bands, including artists representing      is a crucial one. Often they were used to put
former ECoCs. And, who knows, maybe we can          young people on guard for the dangers which
wrap up the history of this air strip by having     lurked in the woods or of playing too close to a
another U2 touchdown, this time captained by        sea which might eat you up. But they also form
Bono and his crew in a peaceful get-together        a special part of the exoticism of our region.
on the Edge of Europe.                              Something for everyone to celebrate and share.

Bodø is considered a Norwegian music capital.       Together with an international partner, we will
Home to half of the Arctic Philharmonic             work with communities to produce their own
Orchestra (shared with the city of Tromsø),         Trolls, Draugs and other mythical creatures,
one of our country’s longest running children’s     as well as inviting artists to produce work to
song schools, choirs, bands, groups and an          animate the city. Over the weekend Bodø will
extensive programme of concerts of all kinds.       be turned into a mythological maelstrom with
Since the early 2000’s the city has invested        installations, events and activities for all of
in band rooms and backline in a number of           the family. The climax will involve a parade of
public youth clubs, helping form a series of        these phantasmagorical creatures around the
successful bands and artists on the Norwegian       City, culminating in a spectacular show in Bodø
pop and rock scenes during the last ten years,      Harbour. The show will be based on one of our
often referred to as The Bodø Wave. Several         most evocative myths, with the midnight sun
of these bands and artists are an obvious part      and the talking mountains providing a breath-
of an international level Band on the runway        taking setting.
line-up. While celebrating, we must not forget
that these musicians are clear and outspoken
In tandem with this event, libraries all             a different approach to art, presenting it
                                                         around the region will involve young people          outdoors, in direct connection with the nature
                                                         in reading stories of myths and legends, and         and environment surrounding us. Former ECoC
                                                         holding creative writing workshops to produce        and fellow member of the Norwegian City
                                                         new myths for the 21st century. We also see          Network, Stavanger is home of the street art
                                                         opportunities for our new settlers to tell the       festival NuArt, widely considered the world’s
                                                         stories of the myths and legends from their          leading celebration of Street Art among its
                                                         countries of origin, playing a full part in the      peers. UpNorth director Gøran Moya and NuArts
                                                         programme and in the work with young people.         Martyn Reed are in dialogue, building on each
                                                         And we will invite our 2024 partners from            others’ experience. In the build-up to 2024 we
                                                         Estonia and Austria to join us if the winners        want NuArt and UpNorth to connect, preparing
                                                         are prepared to brave our scary summer and if        for a unique, multi-city event in 2024.
                                                         they have decent monsters to contribute. Who
                                                         knows, the Beast of Kaunas may make a guest          Through partnering with «big sister» NuArt,
                                                         appearance…                                          UpNorth will be challenged to visit different
                                                                                                              towns of Nordland as well as our fellow
                                                         Potential partners: Kaunas 2022, Austrian            ECoCs. We have been in dialogue with the
                                                         and Estonian candidate cites.                        Estonian candidate cities, seeking to include
                                                                                                              the Estonian company SprayPainter and their
                                                                                                              wall-climbing robot that paints in large scale
                                                                      CONNECTING WASTE                        what the artists draw digitally, on a tablet or
                                                                                                              pad. The digital dimension of this project opens
                                                                                                              a world of new possibilities; artists in any
                                                                                                              one of the 2024 ECoCs can be online, creating
                                                                                                              their art locally, letting the SprayPainter robot
       18                                                Connecting Waste is interactive art made             realize it on a wall in another city. Certainly,
                                                         from waste. This project is one of the winners       by 2024 technology has come even further, and
                                                         of the idea-contest run by our region’s main         this project could see artists have their work
2 . C U LT U R A L A N D A R T I S T I C C O N T E N T

                                                         newspaper for ECoC project ideas. Connecting         robot painted in each of the ECoCs in real time?
                                                         Waste is about exploring the possibilities
                                                         of waste, including both young and old in            Potential partners: NuArt Stavanger,
                                                         the awareness of our global environmental            SprayPainter Estonia
                                                         challenges. Professional artists are challenged
                                                         to work with the citizens and express what they
                                                         see in this waste. The goal is to express history,                     NEW VIEWS
                                                         multicultural aspects and environmental
                                                         issues, in sculptures that inspire physical
                                                         activity, curiosity, pondering, dialogue etc.
                                                         We have visited candidate city in Estonia
                                                         and discussed this project. We envision a            New Views was developed by the festival
                                                         collaboration, where we will exchange each           Nordland      Musikkfestuke,      our     tourist
                                                         others materials – children from Tartu creating      information office Visit Bodø and Bodø Trekking
                                                         art with waste picked from Nordlands beaches,        Association. Now we want to build on it for Bodø
                                                         and children from Bodø working with waste            2024. Local artists are commissioned to write
                                                         from the Emajõgi River in Tartu.                     music for specific viewpoints and the music is
                                                                                                              only available on a mobile phone app when you
                                                                                                              are at the actual spot.
                                                                                                              For Bodø 2024, the project will evolve into a
                                                                                                              European collaboration with artists from other
                                                                                                              European cities creating music for special
                                                                                                              places or views in each other’s cities. This will
                                                         UpNorth is a street art festival. The festival       allow an increased European mobility of artists
                                                         engages top international artists, who are           and at the same time can be used for exchanging
                                                         invited to express themselves in the gigantic        concerts and participatory activities. Bodø
                                                         format of house walls. UpNorth articulates           2024 could produce the platform, in form of an
app but also in cooperation with music agents,            THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE
letting musicians across Europe musically
colorize the unique places and views of their
area and the areas they travel to. Giving
their musical comment on places they visit,
connecting cultures and people across Europe.      The Nordland Theatre in Mo i Rana and the
At the same time the project invites people        south Sami theatre Åarjelhsaemien Teater
out of the traditional culture venues, making      usually present four productions with up to
virtually anywhere a venue.                        90 shows a year. Both theatre work under the
                                                   same roof and their idea is to produce Bertold
                                                   Brecht’s play The Caucasian Chalk Circle as a
        THE LEGEND OF STONES                       play with Sami and non-Sami actors adapting
                                                   the story to our own cultural backgrounds.
Talking about THE Sami culture is like speaking
about THE European culture – it is too diverse
and too manifold to be pressed into one single             YOIK OF THE RETURNING SUN
expression – as we said: Three Sami languages
are being spoken within the Nordland area
alone. Sami culture nowadays spans the arch
of traditional artistic and craft expressions to
intermixes with contemporary styles to political   A yoik or joik is a Sami singing style which
and environmental activism and further. What       is considered one of the oldest still living
we can attempt to do is to offer a platform        singing known in Europe. The most important
under the title The Legend of Stones on which      difference from other singing is that you do not
some Sami artistic and cultural expressions        yoik about something, you yoik it. You yoik an
can be shared with an international audience.      animal or a person, making it come alive and        19
                                                   appear in song. We want to try to evoke the
One of the stories that the Stormen library in     European Capital of Culture in Bodø 2024 in
Bodø tells about our relationship with the Sami    yoik. In fact, one of the winning ideas from our
is a 100-year-old photograph that has been         public idea competition was to commission a
enlarged to a size of over 20 square metres.       yoik for the ECoC, hopefully making the very
It depicts an elderly couple from Nordland         essence of ECoC take form in song. In addition
County. The area around the man’s feet has         to this we could hold a yoik contest (like the
been scratched out – one of the couple’s           popular Sami Song Contest) or commission for
descendants has at some point tried to erase       a number of yoiks to be performed as the Yoik
evidence of Sami ancestry; the traditional         of the Returning Sun at the opening ceremony.
kommager, made from reindeer and seal skin,        This is still to be developed.
was a warm, functional and cheap shoe. This
alone shows that there is no black-and-white
approach on the stories we share.                                  ERASED BOOTS

We have been consulting with our colleagues
from Umeå 2014 about how they presented
Sami culture and we can learn a lot from them.
But we also want to find our own way and have      We envisage a major collaboration about folk
Sami representatives in our artistic working       culture with the National Museum of Estonia
groups.                                            which has a vast collection and exhibition on the
                                                   Finno-Ugric speaking people of Europe. Since
                                                   all Sami languages as well as the Estonian,
                                                   Finnish and Hungarian language belong to
                                                   this family we want to share this heritage and
                                                   involve the Hungarian ECoC of 2023, the finnish
                                                   ECoC of 2026 as well as the Finno-Ugric Capital
   Talking about THE Sami                          of Culture 2024. Potential partners are also
   culture is like speaking about                  the Swedish Sami Museum and Centre Ájtte in
   THE European culture...                         Jokkmokk, Siida the National Museum of the
                                                   Finnish Sami, the Sami Museum in Karasjok
VIA QUERISSIMA                       locally – instead you are offered Quesadillas
                                                                                                              and Beef Burgers, like everywhere else. Querini
                                                                                                              brought the Italians stockfish, but the product
                                                                                                              is not very well known and explored back home.
                                                                                                              We want the Arctic Food Festival to become an
                                                         Via Querissima is about creating a modern            annual arena of exploring and sharing arctic
                                                         cultural heritage route based on the story of        food resources.
                                                         Pietro Querini. The Venetian merchant sailed
                                                         from Crete in April 1431, bound for Bruges in        We envision two main lines for this festival:
                                                         Flanders. 68 men sailed on three merchant
                                                         ships loaded with wine casks and spices                           MOUSSE THE MOOSE
                                                         intended for Western European markets. The
                                                         fleet passed Malta, the Canary Islands and
                                                         Galicia, but encountered a terrible storm on the
                                                         west coast of France. The storm damaged the
                                                         ships and the sailors had to abandon the ship,       Mousse the Moose is a mixture of capacity
                                                         relying on their lifeboats. Without the ability to   building and local enjoyment which invites
                                                         navigate, the boats were driven by the streams       professional chefs from all over Europe to
                                                         following the coast of Ireland and Scotland          use local produce in surprising new creations.
                                                         ending up on the remote island of Røst, often        Workshops and educational activities for
                                                         referred to as «the edge of the world», a three      regional chefs, restaurant owners and retailers
                                                         hour boat ride west of Bodø. Querini’s story         will help build structures and awareness for
                                                         connects Europe from south to north. The             offering a more local and sustainable – but
                                                         journey follows the trails of merchants that         also more interesting culinary offer to visitors
                                                         have impacted different cultures. The project        and locals alike. Stands at the festival below
       20                                                will explore how an economy based on creative/       will allow the larger audience to enjoy the new
                                                         cultural industries be managed, enhanced and         creations and learn about local food production.
                                                         implemented in our future, and seek to develop
2 . C U LT U R A L A N D A R T I S T I C C O N T E N T

                                                         stronger awareness of our fellow European
                                                         countries’ unique resources.                               THE FLYING STOCKFISH FESTIVAL

                                                         The island Røst, the westernmost island of
                                                         Lofoten, has developed a festival in Querini’s
                                                         name. Stockfish recipes, exhibitions, music
                                                         and trade are what connects the stories. In          The Flying Stockfish Festival is a local, multi-
                                                         2012 the festival premiered an opera on the          ethnic experimentation of our traditional
                                                         story of Querini. The opera has played every         export product, stockfish. We have people of
                                                         two years since then, and in connection with         122 different nationalities living in the county
                                                         Bodø’s ambition to become ECoC 2024 the              plus the indigenous Sami. What happens when
                                                         island community have started to work towards        these cultures adopt our local stockfish and
                                                         staging the opera in Querini’s home town of          produce? How about some Nigerian Jollof Rice
                                                         Venice. In 2024, we want the opera to travel         with Stockfish or Afghan Stockfish-Shorwa?
                                                         along Via Querissima, visiting e.g. Venice, Cadiz    A nice Sami/migrant crossover has already
                                                         and Porto.                                           happened with a new dish called Suovaskebab
                                                                                                              which sees the traditional smoked reindeer or
                                                                                                              moose meat Suovasbierggo married with pita
                                                                                                              bread, garlic sauce and cucumber. Just some
                                                                         ARCTIC FOOD                          of the surprises locals and guests might be in
                                                                                                              for. Hopefully, from 2024 onwards local food is
                                                         Arctic Food is about local food in a European        as cool as its healthy.
                                                         and international perspective. We have small
                                                         scale food festivals in our region, but for ECoC     The creative people of Kjerringøy, where you can
                                                         2024 we want to include everyone in a larger,        visit an authentic 19th century trading post, can
                                                         comprehensive project. Local produce – sea           take visitors fishing in historic boats from boat
                                                         food, reindeer, moose, berries, herbs and            craftsman Ulf Mikalsen. Using traditional gear
                                                         vegetables are sadly underused in restaurants        and following the different species through the
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