Pan-Barentz seeking cross-border identity

Have you ever played basketball with the prominent Norwegian politician Thorvald Stoltenberg (founder of the Barents Region in 1993), Vegard Ulvang (cross-country Olympian born in Kirkenes) or Santa Claus? You have a chance to do so at the exhibition Pan-Barentz. Have you traveled to and between Kirkenes and Nikel, Kiruna and Narvik, Tornio and Haparanda? Visit the Pan-Barentz Exhibition to see how these towns cooperate across the borders!

Pan-Barentz (

Pan-Barentz (

Would you like to test yourself as a strategy-maker for the oil and mining industries in the High North? Barents-challenges are waiting for you at the game-table. What takes to create a balance between petroleum and fishery industries? What is a Barents town? What does people have in common in the Barents Region, that became a playground for geopolitical and economic stakeholders? Together with artists and architects this project invites you to discuss these and other issues. The exhibition is meant to be a traveling discussion forum that builds up the image of our future – the regional identity of our future represented by artistic and urbanistic statements.

This unique exhibition was opened in Oslo on Feb. 27 by Norwegian Minister of Culture Trond Giske. It will also be displayed in Tromsø, Murmansk, Rovaniemi, Helsinki and Moscow. The Pan-Barentz project is aimed at exploring the concept of a Barents identity. Is there such an identity? As identities are practiced in public spaces, the artists focus on urban space, city-planning and future development trends for Barents cities.

In the opening ceremony, Giske threw a basketball at a basketball net attached to a huge painting of Thorvald Stoltenberg, the proclaimed founding father of the Barents Cooperation. “This is the first, and I think the last, time I open an art exhibition by throwing a basketball at one of the exhibits!,” Giske said.

The exhibition PAN-BARENTZ is part of “The III Barents Art Triennale” produced by “Pikene på Broen” (Kirkenes) in cooperation with “0047” (Oslo), the “University of Lapland” (Rovaniemi), “Koncentrat” (Kiruna) and “Anadolu Kultur” (Istanbul). “The III Barents Art Triennale” also includes “Barents Urban Survey”, site-specific artworks in Kirkenes, Murmansk, Petrozavodsk, Kiruna and Kars in Turkey, workshops, and an international conference in Kirkenes. 

The project is supported by EU Culture program 2007-2013, Norwegian Ministry of Culture, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norwegian Arts Council, KORO, Kulturkontakt Nord, Barents Secretariat, BarentsKult, Fritt Ord and Husbanken.

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