Nordic Day 2023: Nordic solidarity and the role of culture in a time of war

23.03.23 | Event
Nordic Day marks the signing of the Helsinki Convention, which lays the foundation for cooperation between the Nordic nations. Join us for a versatile program in the Nordic house, focused on peace, solidarity and the power of culture.


05:00 PM - 07:15 PM

The Nordic house
Sæmundargata 11 

Debate meeting

(Times are CET)  

The program will include a panel discussion on the role of culture in a time of war, readings from works nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize, speeches from Nordic profiles and a musical performance.  

Panel discussion: Women in war – The role of culture in a time of war

Why listen to the music, go to theatre, write poetry, why look at art, when the war is raging and people are still dying? Poems will not stop missiles. Theatre will not end suffering.  

But culture is not powerless.  

Through art we establish similarities between past and future, abstract and concrete, we learn to understand and doubt. We learn to see the difference between good and bad in the times of utmost struggle and calamity. 

Art and culture have a power of depicting war matters for its own sake, communicating the message directly and above the usual human communication channels and propaganda. 

Here we will meet four women of culture, and talk about the role of culture in the time of war, the power of art to deliver the narratives and educate people, as well as bring comfort and peace in the times of the worst human calamities, such as the war in Ukraine. 

The discussion is moderated by Olga Jóhannesson. 


  • Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, minister for Nordic Cooperation 
  • Sabina Westerholm, director of the Nordic house in Reykjavík 
  • Helgi Þorsteinsson, historian and Secretary to the Icelandic Delegation to the Nordic Council 
  • Pär Ahlberger, ambassador of Sweden 
  • Bryndís Haraldsdóttir, Chairman of the Icelandic delegation to the Nordic Council 
  • Guðni Elísson, author and nominee for the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2023


  • Valerie Ósk Elenudóttir, Icelandic-Ukranian actress 
  • Natasha S, Icelandic poet of Russian-origin 
  • Kateryna Mysechko, a Ukrianian violinist at the Iceland Symphony Orchestra 
  • Olena Steptytska, Ukranian artist 

The program is organized in collaboration with the Nordic Association in Iceland.