Music, propaganda and resistance

In collaboration with Chapter: the Stavanger International Festival for Literature and Freedom of Expression, we invite the public to "Demo: Music, propaganda and resistance" on Friday, 22 September 2017, at 10.00 a.m. and 12.00 p.m. at the Sølvberget Library and House of Literature. The conversation is part of this year's festival programme. The artist Morten Traavik, the musician Moddi and the Slovenian band Laibach will be participating. The moderator is journalist and musician Guttorm Arndreassen.

"Propaganda" is the topic of this year's Fritt Ord Competition for Upper Secondary School, which invites pupils to submit entries about freedom of expression and democracy. According to the Norwegian encyclopaedia, Store norske leksikon, propaganda is intentional manipulation of people's thoughts and feelings using strong means to promote particular opinions and behavioural patterns.

Who defines propaganda? How should we deal with texts and messages that are in the grey zone between a desire to influence others through reasoning and discussion, and deceitful use of arguments and exaggeration?

During the talks, participants are urged to think about these questions. Morten Traavik has carried out several controversial art projects in North Korea, along with North Korean players. In one of his latest projects, he brought along the Slovenian band Laibach to play a concert in Pyongyang, then documented it in the film Liberation Day (2016). Traavik will talk about his relationship to North Korea. 

Moddi uses his latest project to explore totalitarianism from another perspective. In the book and the album Unsongs, he has chosen 12 songs that have been banned by the authorities in 12 different countries. Moddi will talk about the project and play live music from the album.

The Slovenian band Laibach was formed in Yugoslavia in 1980, and received international acclaim from the 1990s. Throughout its history, Laibach has borrowed motifs from totalitarian regimes, and the band has become famous for putting their own slant on western pop hits by adding an industrial twist. At DEMO, we will get to meet Laibach not least through their poster art, which plays on the propaganda aesthetic of totalitarian regimes.

The event targets school classes that are interested in participating in the Fritt Ord Foundation Competition, but is also open to the public.

Read more and order tickets here.

About the Chapter Festival:
Chapter, the Stavanger International Festival for Literature and Freedom of Expression, is an annual festival organised by Sølvberget. Chapter 17 will be held from 20 - 24 September.

Chapter is among Norway's largest literary festivals, and has became an important literary arena at the national and international levels alike. Chapter is an impassioned festival. Freedom of expression is intended to permeate the programme, enabling us to shed light on hot topics from near and far. Naturally, the focus is also on finding new Norwegian trends and on influencing the book world in Norway.

The festival is also intended to protect and preserve genres that do not otherwise receive a great deal of attention in the public sphere. Moreover, Chapter's themes bring factual prose and journalism to the fore. Genres such as documentary film, poetry and illustrated literature are always prominently featured on the programme. 

OsloMet and Fritt Ord invite the public to a debate on the importance of digitisation for journalism, on Wednesday, 6 November 2019, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Fritt Ord’s premises at Uranienborgveien 2, Oslo.

How about getting a jump start on the interdisciplinary topic “Democracy and citizenship”? Fritt Ord and the National Association for Norwegian Teaching invite the public to a seminar on CRISIS, free speech and the desire to write, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, 1 November at Fritt Ord’s premises in Oslo.

The Fritt Ord Foundation’s project “Islam in Norway” invites the public to an open meeting about hatred and hostility towards Muslims, from 6-7.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 9 October 2019 at Kulturhuset, Youngs gate 6, Oslo.