Exploring the Cultural Programme at Arctic Congress Bodø 2024

Bodø in Nordland county.

Bodø, the European Capital of Culture 2024, is hosting the Arctic Congress Bodø 2024-event.

Exploring the Cultural Programme at Arctic Congress Bodø 2024
– A true reflection of the local culture, says Marta Anna Løvberg, Head of the Cultural Programme.

Arctic Congress Bodø 2024 is an example of unique Arctic cooperation.

Between 29 May and 3 June 2024, it will bring together three conferences and five organisations, presenting over 900 programme posts.

The High North Dialogue 2024, UArctic Congress 2024 and the International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences have all combined forces into one big event.

The Congress's cultural program also reflects this spirit of cooperation. 

– We have curated a cultural programme for Arctic Congress Bodø 2024 attendees, a true reflection of the local culture and the meeting points of art and Arctic research. This was made possible through our collaboration with local institutions and research bodies from the Arctic, shares Marta Anna Løvberg.

Løvberg is Head of the Cultural Programme, local artist and Communication Advisor at Nordland Research Institute.

– The programme includes a mix of events already happening in Bodø and those curated exclusively for the Congress. We have also prepared a 'do it yourself' guide to cultural and Instagram-worthy spots, inviting you to be part of this vibrant community.

Grete K. Hovelsrud, professor at the Nordland Research Institute and IASSA-president adds:

– We want to give people a break from the intense scientific presentations and a chance to explore our city's hidden gems. As an artist, Ms Løvberg has found interesting aspects about Bodø to show our discerning guests at the Congress.

Hovelsrud. Here photographed during a visit in Svalbard, Norway.

Exhibit open to the public

Two exhibitions were curated especially for the Congress:

  • The first, "NEW GENRE ARCTIC ART AND ART EDUCATION," curated by Timo Jokela (University of Lapland), is a collection of individual artworks by artists and documentation of art education activities, such as community art or art participatory projects. The exhibition is a collaboration within the UArctic / Arctic Sustainable Art and Design network. It showcases artworks from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Greenland, Denmark, Scotland, Alaska, and France.
  • The second one, "ARCTIC STORYWORLDS: FROZEN MATTERS," is a journey into the Arctic environment's heart, using storytelling to convey this region's intricate tapestry. Curated by Olga Zaslavskaya, Vera Kuklina, and Tatiana Degai, the exhibition is a collaborative undertaking, bringing together scholars' expertise, artists' creativity, and Indigenous knowledge-holders' wisdom. This collective effort is a dynamic process that unfolds through various means, including art-science convergence meetings, immersive field studies, arts-based collaborations, talking circles, and crafty storytelling.

Hovelsrud emphasises:

– IASSA is thrilled to sponsor and welcome the "ARCTIC STORYWORLDS: FROZEN MATTERS" exhibit. It will be open to the public, not only to the Congress attendees, and will continue until June 8. It is our way of giving something back to the people living in Bodø.

Sharing stories

Løvberg says that she look forward to a discussion between four Alaska Native Elders:

– They will share their stories about what it means to "age in a good way" among Alaska Native Elders. Also, the theme evening at the Norwegian Aviation Museum will include a presentation on the status, challenges, and solutions within sustainable aviation.

The Congress’s cultural programme also includes events already happening in Bodø, like Gullevaš/Golgolaš, an exhibition at Bodø Art Society, featuring works by eight artists from Sápmi who explore ideas about home, belonging, identity and exclusion. NŌUA, an artist-run institution for photography, agreed to postpone the closing of their exhibition VORTEX so congress participants can experience it.

The congress is hosted by Nordland Research Institute and Nord University. Register here, and read the overview programme here.

Løvberg is Head of the Cultural Programme. She is also an local artist and a Communication Advisor at Nordland Research Institute. She has worked with the program for a long time.