Transborder Café

Saturday 26. February, 18:00 / The event will also be streamed

How do we define borders and how do the borders define us, our relationships and work? Are there ethical or moral limits to cross-border cooperation, and how is the discussion of a cultural boycott of Russia assessed in the light of other geographies?

Kirkenes and Sør-Varanger are referred to as “borderlands”, where proximity to the borders of Russia, Finland, the Barents Sea and Sápmi is defining, not only for the area's administrative-political demarcation, but for the area's history, culture, population and political status. Exchange and cooperation across national borders have long roots - with the war in Ukraine however, many ties to Russia were cut almost overnight, followed by discussions on sanctions and cultural boycotts.

Together with local experience from the border areas in the north, The Transborder Café: In Borders We Trust will raise an international perspective and share experiences with artistic, journalistic and cultural work along, on and across national borders.

Invited Guests: 

  • Christina Henriksen, Saami Council
  • Veli Başyiğit, Cultural worker, Anadolu Kültür, Istanbul
  • Ksenia Novikova, Journalist
  • Vadim Gololobov, A Russian Engineering Theatre AKHE

Moderator: Arne O. Holm, journalist and the editor of High North News

The Transborder Café will be introduced with a talk between Evgeny Goman (Pikene på Broen) and Prokhor Gusev, theatre director, actor and mime in exile, who takes part in the festival´s Home Theatre Performance 80°.

Cultural input: Teaser from the Home Theatre Performance Propaganda Machine, a mockumentary performance in the form of a newscast based on real material from Russian television. Author: Leo Braverman, actress: Anna Khlestkina, director and editing director prefer to stay anonymous.



Tuesday 28. February, 19:30 / The event will also be streamed

The new fishery agreement between Norway and Russia, negotiated along with Russian warfare in Ukraine, puts the codfish in a special position. While the international sanctions against Russia are strengthened and expanded to hit Russian business and industry, Norwegian-Russian fisheries cooperation is one of the few areas that remain untouched by sanctions. 

Why is cod the exception, how does the cross-border fisheries cooperation take place and what are the knock-on effects for the cod stock in the Barents Sea? What are the concequences of the war on climate and where are the future pathways for cod and climate cooperation in the Arctic?

The ticket to Transborder Café: In Cod We Trust includes the concert Dialects of the Deep, with the composer and sound artist John Andrew Wilhite-Hannisdal, the local improviser, composer and musician Per Anders Store and the experimental Tuvan singer Sainkho Namtchylak, in the exhibition space at The Old Fire Station. 

Invited Guests:

  • Geir Hønneland, political scientist and senior researcher at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute
  • Maria Fossheim, Head of the program for the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean at the Institute of Marine Research
  • Sverre Johansen, Secretary general of the Norwegian Fishermen's Association

Moderator: Anja SaloNorwegian-Russian cooperation for 15 years, student in Peace and Conflict Studies, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Transborder Café will be introduced with a talk with Rebekah Oomen, an evolutionary ecologist and researcher in the group Torsketromming



Organised in collaboration with The Norwegian Barents Secretariat, 11. January 2023. 

11. January 2023 marked 30 years since the Kirkenes Declaration was signed by Norway, Russia, Sweden and Finland - and the Barents region became a reality. Today's geopolitical situation, triggered by Russia's war in Ukraine and an uncertain future, now puts the result of decades of cross-border cooperation at stake. The evening included introductions and conversations with:

Øyvind Nordsletten (former Norwegian diplomat and ambassador to Ukraine and Russia), Sverre Jervell (Norwegian diplomat and security policy researcher), Vigdis Nygaard (Political scientist and researcher at NORCE), Bente S. Andersen (Founder of Samovarteateret and founding partner of Pikene på Broen), Paavo Heinonen (Artistic director of Oulu Arts' Night, editor of Kaltio magazine, member Oulu city council), Zhanna Guzenko (Culture producer and co-founder of Fridaymilk and the up to recent Murmansk based festival Inversia), Tim Anderson Rask (Journalist and Chairman of Barents Press Sweden), Vera Arntsen (International coordinator of Barents Sports). Moderators: Marit E. Jacobsen (The Norwegian Barents Secretariat) and Evgeny Goman (Pikene på Broen). 

Recorded stream from In Barents We Trust:
Opptak fra In Barents We Trust (Originalspråk, engelsk)
Opptak fra In Barents We Trust (Russisk oversettelse)