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The World

Date: September 01, 2005
Place: Lovozero, Russia
Size: 70 sq. m.
Materials: 1000 kg. fruits, vegetables, grass and blue fabric

Border Dialogues 2005-2006

Barents Art Treinnial

The project Border Dialogues is being launched in August. Border Dialogues is an art project, which aims to mediate and create questions and experiences around conceptions of borders.

It was organized as a three-day journey across the borders, from the village Neiden to Kirkenes (Norway), to Murmansk and Lovozero (Russia), from 30th August to 2nd September.

There were different events at the different sites, as exhibitions, talks and concerts, which altogether become an exiting art festival!

Border Dialogues – The Barents Art Triennial, is an international art project, which aims to mediate and explore questions and responses, experiences and feelings, related to the conceptions of borders.

The project is organised in different steps with activities, such as exhibitions, community projects, texts, talks, travels, workshops and events or festivals, held in different places throughout the period of mid 2005 to mid 2006.

At the heart of the project is movement and the encounters between people. The border town Kirkenes is the point of departure. Previous experiences and activities of the project initiators, Pikene på Broen, (Kirkenes), and of the project partners are the references when embarking on this journey.  We are in particular interested in contemporary art in relation to our local societies and to the Barents region, with all the diversity and complexities it holds.

Kirkenes is located northeast of Norway on the border to Finland and Russia, in the Barents Region. The Barents Region includes the northernmost counties of Sweden, Finland and Norway and Northwest of Russia. Within this region it is a huge amount of structures, languages and cultures. 

The project aims to bring to light knowledge about borders and boundaries, with international art as a source, to people in the Barents region. At the same time, the project also aims to connect the particular context of the Barents region and its artists to other artists, places and contexts outside the region.


The history of the borders of this area, consequences of the nation buildings and indigenous peoples` history are important backdrops for this project. Through the project we connect places. By inviting artists to work in the communities ahead of the opening event, we are encouraging dialogues between the artists and people here. The audience gets introduced to excerpts from different dialogues; visually or verbally expressed. Interesting exhibitions reflecting the topics are on display. An explosive sound event will take place in Murmansk!

The exhibition Next door in Kirkenes consists of seven projects and presentations of artistic practices that engages, narrates and explores issues of transgression, exile, migration, community and self, all performed and enacted through the presence of real and imaginary borders.

Same, same but different, produced by Bildmuseet/University of Umeå, is shown in a re-mixed edition in Kirkenes and Lovozero. The works on display are made by Sami artists from the Nordic countries. They interpret positions, suggest routes or possible repudiations and explore doubts, in response to a complex set of problems in relation to contemporary culture and identity. What is it to be a Sami? A publication continues the discussion around ethnic and national identities.


Event about indigenous peoples and ecology (October), seminar about art as an alternative producer of truth and knowledge, open one minute film festival with borders as a topic (November), are some of the next steps of the project.


The project is managed by Pikene på Broen (Kirkenes), Verkligheten (Umeå), University of Lapland (Rovaniemi) and Sami Culture Centre (Lovozero).


Pikene på Broen would like to express special thanks to the artists participating in this project, to Morten Torgersrud, Maria Rusinovskaya, Jan-Erik Lundström, Farhad Kalantary, Bildmuseet/Univerity of Umeå, East Sami Museum Project, Ulf Carlsson, Kirkenesvannet Eidendom AS, Atlier Nord, Pasvikturist, to our partners and the funding institutions that make this project possible to realize.


Border Dialogues – The Barents ArtTriennial is supported by EU Culture 2000, Arts Council of Norway, The Barents Secretariat, Sør-Varanger Municipality, North Norwegain Culture Council, Finnmark County Council, Office for Contemporary Art Norway, Nordic Culture Fund, Länsstyrelsen Västerbotten, Västerbottens läns landsting, KC Nord, Stiftelsen Längmanska kulturfonden, Bundeskanzleramt Kunst

ABOUT PIKENE PÅ BROEN Pikene på Broen was started in 1996 by five women in Kirkenes. The aim was to promote culture as an engine in the development of the local society and to stimulate to a cross-border cultural co-operation with the northern areas of our neighbouring countries. The last three years the focus has turned more to contemporary art and exploring contexts and ways for art mediation and art production in dialogue to our societies and current conditions. We are not in possession of any art gallery, so we have to make new cultural spaces. Important to us has been to make relations and networks with artists, introducing artists for our area, places and situations. Since the start we have tried to keep our focus “across-borders”, with Kirkenes as a starting point. Pikene på Broen is mostly working within the Barents region.