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National Romantisism Revisited

2004-06-28

Vestlandsutstillingen an annual exhibition of artists from western parts of Norway has announced the call for participation for 2005.000 In 2005 Norway is celebrating 100 years of independence from Sweden. At the moment there’s also a strong movement towards defining the western parts of Norway as a region in the hope of getting more resources and a more independent position as compared to the capital of Oslo.

To me it seems that the winter olympics at Lillehammer in 1994 caused a shift in Norwegian mentality being more nationalistic narrow-minded self-sufficient and ignorant about the rest of the world. Gro Harlem Brundtland prime minister back then launched the slogan “it’ s typical Norwegian to be good”. This was further promoted during the election on whether to join EU or not a few years later. “Annerledeslandet” (sorry this is hard to translate… It was a major retoric notion during the campaign and roughly translates as “The Other or Different Nation”) Norway did not join EU. I fear that the celebration of 2005 might further promote unhealthy nationalism and isolationism. The topic of Vestlandsutstillingen 2005 is based on the historic role of Norwegian Fiords and gives me the creep.

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