Hva nå Svalbard? Svalbard – veien videre 1

Now what? Svalbard – The road ahead


The Future of Svalbard

Saturday 29. August 2020, 15:00 until 16:00

Venue: Wergeland

Host: Artica Svalbard og Norsk PEN

Entrance: Ticket

Once a year, Artica Svalbard hosts one of the most important art events in the Arctic, Artica Listens. Together with Norwegian Pen, this year it will focus on the most urgent issues that Svalbard and its inhabitants are facing.

At a time when mining is being phased out, tourism is growing, the proportions of Norwegians living on the island is declining and climate change is affecting both nature and people, we are asking ourselves what the future of Longyearbyen and Svalbard should look like? And what does it take to get there?

Join us for the finale of a four-part series (the other three episodes are streamed online each Saturday in August), where we on august 29th invite you to join us for an interesting conversation with author Maja Lunde and social anthropologist Zdenka Sokolickova. The Norwegian journalist Anne Grosvold, together with journalist and author Line Nagell Ylvisåker will host and moderate the conversations.

Follow the event on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest news.


More information about the moderators and participants: 

Anne Grosvold is one of Norway’s most valued and respected journalists, for which she has received multiple awards and nominations. She worked as journalist, foreign correspondent and programme host for Norwegian national broadcaster NRK for nearly 40 years. She is a well of knowledge and a brilliant communicator.

Line Nagell Ylvisåker is a trained journalist and worked from 2006 to 2018 at the newspaper Svalbardposten. She has hosted several local Book Launches and debates. Line has produced podcasts for Artica Svalbard and held an artist talk with Cristina Lucas at last year´s Artica Listens. In May she published the documentary book «My world is melting. To live with climate change on Svalbard.»

Maja Lunde is a successful Norwegian author. Her books are translated to more than 40 languages. She is also one of the country’s most prominent advocates for the climate cause. The novels The History of Bees (2015), The End of the Ocean (2017) and Przewalskis Horse (2019) are parts of her planned climate quartet. The fourth book will deal with the Arctic.

Zdenka Sokolickova from February 2019 until February 2021 she is a research fellow of the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo, conducting fieldwork in Longyearbyen. The project entitled boREALIFE: Overheating in the High Arctic, focuses on local impacts of globalization and climate change.
More information about episodes that are being streamed online: 

Part 1, 8 August 15.00 CEST – Art and Climate

The first part of Artica Listens will address the role of art in communicating the climate crisis. Can art help reduce CO2 emissions?

Author Ole Robert Sunde and sculptor Oswaldo Macia use words, sound and smell to emotionally move their audiences. In this conversation, they meet to talk and reflect on climate change and the power of art.

In the second half of the program, Teresa Grøtan and Benedicte Meyer Kroneberg, both of whom have written about the climate crisis, will address several of the paradoxes of our time. All of the participants in this episode have been artists-in-residence at Artica Svalbard.


Part 2, 15 August 15.00 CEST – Nature and Tourism

Longyearbyen is an old coal mining community. Mining is now being phased out, while tourism is promoted as a replacement for lost jobs and to maintain the island’s population.

What is the actual impact of tourism on Svalbard’s nature? The Arctic is warming about twice as fast as the global average, so why is tourism singled out as a prioritized industry? Can dissemination of the climate crisis make up for the environmental footprint that tourism leaves behind? These are some of the questions that the CEO of Visit Svalbard, Ronny Brunvoll, will discuss with Frode Pleym, Manager of Greenpeace Norway.


Part 3, 22 August 15.00 CEST – An International Community

When the Covid-19 crisis hit, foreigners truly experienced that they have other social rights in Svalbard than Norwegians. Foreigners on Svalbard do not need residence and work permits, but everyone must have a place to stay and enough economical resources to support themselves. In addition, financial assistance for the authorities is not offered on the island. In this episode we will hear several stories from some of those who are affected. Local employers and international labor rights defenders will discuss the challenges and opportunities for Longyearbyen as an international community.