Online Events from the Border-Crossing Barents Spektakel


Disponible en Anglais seulement 

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Barents Spektakel is a cultural-political cocktail with contemporary art and music, theatre and performance, architecture and design, seminars and debates as its ingredients—all spiced with current issues related to the Barents Region and the High North in general. Between the 23rd and the 27th of February, 2022 Pikene på Broen invites visitors to experience the 18th edition of the Barents Spektakel festival!  

The 2022 festival continues to mobilize a“satellite strategy” with its Russian partners—planning for events in Petrozavodsk, Nikel, Murmansk and St. Petersburg that will be connected to the festival in Kirkenes. Accounting for global, regional, and local health and safety measures, and anticipating audiences from various locales, Barents Spektakel 2022 features a combination of virtual programs, hybrid events (local and virtual), and local events with social distancing, presented in Norwegian, English and Russian. 


Note: This event was organized prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. See Pikene på Broen’s statement on the invasion here

An abstract graphic with circular and question-mark shaped forms in red, yellow, and teal on a deep blue background.

Barents Spektakel 2022: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE

A new golden age of celebration and decadence? A long overdue reunion with friends and family? Or a false dawn for normality? The 2022 edition of the Barents Spektakel festival borrows its title from Martin Luther King Jr.’s book on equality and social justice, and continues the conversations opened during the 2021 festival in relation to what is”essential” in culture, society, and our ways of living here in the North. With a special focus this time on movements, mobility, community, and the re-making of meeting places, in 2022 the festival again becomes a platform for speculation and imagination through a cross-border programme of performances, exhibitions, concerts, debates, discussions, a bar concept and an art symposium. During insecure times when we are still in transition, now is the time to ask ourselves: Where do we go from here?  

The question extends through geographic, rhetorical, environmental, and political territories. From the new politics and practicalities of vaccine passports, and radical changes for travel, tourism, and freedom of movement, to the more local processes of emerging from our homes and bedrooms back again into tightly packed public social spaces—what are the lessons we can take with us from our collective COVID experience, as well as our specific Northern story of the past two years? What kind of culture and ways of living are now needed in the age of misinformation, public health decision-making and upcoming transitions? Should we expect a return to hyper-consumption and rapid economic growth, despite the warnings of an increasingly warming climate? What does all this mean in the context of “the green transition” in the North? How can these thoughts and gestures reach local communities in the Barents region, and help them stay connected in the future? And how do we encourage long-term thinking when we have these discussions?  

Asking questions is a natural part of life and living, and the festival intends to ask many this year—some old and some new. Will we get the answers we’re looking for? Or is this a search that will only continue?

A promotional image shows a grid of seven black-and-white portraits of participants in the discussion, with the text “TRANSBORDER CAFE” in white on a bright pink background.

Transborder Café: Humour, seriously
Russian and Norwegian comedians explore satire, censorship, humour and hope.

Transborder Café: The Vaccine’s Political Effects
Russian and Norwegian journalists, entrepreneurs, and politicians examine the effects of border closures and international vaccine politics on cross-border communities.


Each week, the Arctic Arts Summit Digital Platform spotlights an important region of the circumpolar North or organization working to support Arctic artists and their practices. Spotlights are an exciting introduction to the variety of perspectives across the circumpolar world and we invite you to learn more across the platform.