Barents events in Kirkenes in February 2017

Kirkenes turn into the Barents capital for a week in February, when two major Barents events, Barents Spektakel and Kirkenes Conference, take place.

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Photo by Barents Spektakel

The small Norwegian port town of Kirkenes will turn into the Barents capital for a week in February, when two major Barents events take place. There will be something for everyone: all ages and interests. The culture festival Barents Spektakel provides art in all its forms to visitors and locals alike, whereas the Kirkenes Conference offers a political and economic forum for participants from all around the Barents region.

Kirkenes Conference

Breaking free from the dark, long polar night will start with the Kirkenes Conference, which gathers hundreds of Norwegian and international stakeholders in the Thon Hotel Kirkenes for two days on 8–9 February 2017. The focus of the conference will lie on the development of the High North, be it political, industrial or social. Most of the programme will be in Norwegian, but there is simultaneous interpretation into English and Russian constantly available.

The programme of the conference will be available here.

More information on the event and the registration, in both English and Norwegian.

Barents Spektakel

The Barents Spektakel, held on 8–12 February 2017, is a border-crossing festival building bridges between political, cultural and artistic borders. The performances and activities have varied from North-Korean accordion concerts to setting up a national border in the middle of Kirkenes streets. It is not only about performances – everyone is welcome to join the activities: either volunteering for the festival or participating in the interactive shows.

The festival has been organized annually since 2004, and each year it has been built around a burning topic in Barents. The 2017 theme will be “The Industrial Boomerang”. The North has traditionally been seen as a remote wilderness, but it is also home to growing heavy industry, such as mining and maritime transportation routes. The Barents Spektakel will examine the phenomenon from various perspectives - moral, environmental, social - all in a creative and fresh way!

More information: http://www.barentsspektakel.no/

Text: Sunna Kokkonen

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Barents Euro-Arctic Council official website 2017