Nordic culture, education and media

As well as content on culture, education and media, you will also find articles on art, literature, belief systems and public policy. Phenomena as diverse as Nordic noir, new Nordic cuisine and Nordic design have achieved global recognition more recently, as Nordic literature and architecture have done historically. Culture is taken in its broadest sense, including for example political culture and that of belief systems, such as the Lutheran church. Content about all these issues and more will be found on this page. 


Logo of the Danish Cultural Institute.

2019.04.25 | The Quick Read, Inken Dose, Culture, Art

Danish Cultural Institute

Founded in 1940, the Danish Cultural Institute aims to foster intercultural understanding both at home and abroad, and has branches in seven countries with activities and networks in many more. Financed by the Danish Ministry of Culture, private funds and its own revenue, it focuses on diverse themes.

Finnish writer Paavo Haavikko portrayed in 1960. Photographer unknown. Source: Universitat de València (Public domain)

2019.04.08 | Biography, Joachim Mickwitz, Pietari Kaapa, Literature

Paavo Haavikko (1931-2008)

The versatile Finnish author Paavo Haavikko is highly regarded for his modernist poetry and his work in many other genres.

The work of Finnish-Swedish writer Monica Fagerholm, seen here at the Gothenburg book fair in 2009, penetratingly questions key aspects of society. Photo: Rotsee (CC BY-SA 3.0).

2019.04.08 | Biography, Joachim Mickwitz, Pietari Kaapa, Literature

Monika Fagerholm (b. 1961)

Works such as 'Wonderful Women by the Water' established Finnish Monica Fagerholm as a feminist writer.

Lars Von Trier promoting 'Melancholia', one of the films in his 'Depression Trilogy' which each portrayed  mental conditions in abnormal situations, at the Cannes film festival, 2011. Photo: Georges Biard (CC BY-SA 3.0).

2019.04.01 | Biography, Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen, Art

Lars von Trier (b. 1956)

Danish director Lars von Trier is world-famous for his renewal of film media. Through his work on the ‘Golden hearts trilogy', the ‘Depression triology' and ‘Dogme 95’, he has challenged film genres and narrative conventions. His work with video and digital pre- and post-production and various transmedia forms always carries his signature as an…

While spectacular sites in Iceland and elsewhere draw visitors from around the world (like the remote canyon on the South Coast of Iceland pictured here), being outdoors in an everyday way from kindergarten and outdoor pursuits are generally considered characteristic of Nordic life. Photo: Jonathan Auh, Unsplash.

2019.04.01 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

Outdoors in the Nordics

A comprehensive infrastructure caters to both domestic and foreign demand for outdoor activities in the Nordic countries, a demand resulting from swathes of both developed and undeveloped nature, and a widespread perception that being outdoors is character-building and healthy. In recent times, the younger and immigrant populations have shown that…

The incorruptibility and purity of Norwegian nature was one of the most important elements of nineteenth century Norwegian national romanticism. Here illustrated in Brudeferd i Hardanger / Bridal procession on the Hardangerfjord (1848) by Adolph Tidemand and Hans Gude. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.

2019.04.01 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

The role of nature in the Nordic countries

With a low population density in all Nordic countries barring Denmark, nature has taken on a central feature of everyday life for many in the region. It has also played a role in the formation of national identity reflected in art and the ideal of being outdoors.

Erik Blomberg, one of the few internationally famous Finnish film directors of the twentieth century, ca. 1960. Source: Kari Uusitalo, picture gallery of Finnish film makers (Public domain).

2019.03.31 | Biography, Joachim Mickwitz, Pietari Kaapa, Art

Erik Blomberg (1913-1996)

Finnish cinematographer and film director Erik Blomberg is best known for 'The White Reindeer' (1952).

There has been an increase in Danish churches opening their doors to non-Danes and non-Christians generally and specifically through intercultural activities. Photo: Brian Dreyer, Colourbox.

2019.03.29 | Article, Laura Bjørg Serup Petersen, Belief systems

Intercultural encounters in the Danish church

The church as a social caretaker became less common throughout the 20th century as the Nordic welfare state increasingly took over this task. Churches which engage in social activities are arguably reclaiming this role, such as the increasing number of churches in the Danish People’s Church engaging in intercultural activities. These local…

2019.03.29 | Video, Jaakko Seppälä, Media, Nordic Noír

Style and meaning in Nordic Noir: Reimagining the welfare states

This presentation is from a transdisciplinary research workshop entitled Nordic Noir, Geopolitics and the North held at Aarhus University in October 2018.

Hunt for pilot whales at Torshavn, Faroe Islands. Photo: Flickr, Bjarne Stoklund (1961), The National Museum of Denmark (CC BY-SA 2.0)

2019.03.27 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

Whaling by Nordic countries

Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands are among the few countries in the world that still permit limited whaling.

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