Ministers for culture to pursue new global venture

01.11.18 | News
Nordisk ministerråd for kultur (MR-K)

Nordic Council of Ministers for Culture (MR-K) photographed after the end of their meeting at the Norwegian Parliament on Wednesday 31 October.

Sara Johannessen /
After the international success stories that were Nordic Cool in Washington and Nordic Matters in London, the Nordic ministers for culture have decided to embark on a new international venture in an as-yet-unknown location. The decision was made at a ministerial meeting in Oslo on Wednesday.

The ministers agreed that the results of the previous two international cultural festivals exceeded all expectations.

“The two festivals were both hugely beneficial in terms of attracting international attention as well as increasing cultural exchanges and opportunities for practitioners of Nordic culture around the world,” says Sweden’s Minister of Culture and Democracy Alice Bah Kuhnke.

Nordic hype

Bah Kuhnke stresses the completely different profiles of the previous two ventures. Nordic Cool (2013) was a month-long festival that created a considerable amount of hype around Nordic culture by bringing more than 700 Nordic artists, designers, and musicians to Washington D.C.

Nordic Matters at the Southbank Centre in London took place throughout 2017 and involved countless new artistic encounters, collaborations, and projects. Nordic art, culture, and social debate served as the basis for a wide range of festivals and art projects that also highlighted the issues of sustainability, gender equality, and the perspective of children and young people. 

New location – new concept

Ahead of the third joint Nordic venture, the ministers for culture are again looking for a completely new concept for interaction between Nordic culture and the rest of the world, as well as a new location for this to take place.

This could be another capital city, or a region of Nordic interest. The deciding factor will be that the project has local anchorage, an international outlook, and is of interest to Nordic artists and cultural practitioners. In mid-November, Nordic embassies outside of the Nordic Region will be invited to put forward their best ideas. 

The best proposal will be chosen next year

The best concepts for the next international cultural venture will be whittled down during the coming winter and spring. The ministers for culture are expected to make their final decision in the spring of 2019.

“Culture as an international venue is needed now perhaps more than ever before. We want to provide a forum for discussion and reflection on the era we live in. This can offer new perspectives and establish relationships between cultural practitioners in the Nordic Region and around the world that will benefit us going forwards,” says Iceland’s Minister for Culture and Education Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir.