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. 


A scene from the 'Veslefrikk' performance in 1950 by the Norwegian ballet ensemble Ny Norsk Ballett (active 1948–1955). Source: Oslo Museum (CC BY-SA 3.0)

2019.11.20 | The Quick Read, Petra Broomans, The arts

Ballet in Norway

After its independence in 1905, Norwegian ballet took on a tradition of its own, lately being characterised by classical ballet and modern dance merging and influencing one another. This is demonstrated not least by postmodern dance innovatively integrating folklore elements.

Karl Vennberg in 1960, Photo: Unkown, Albert Bonniers förlag. Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

2019.11.20 | Biography, Anne Heith, Literature

Karl Vennberg (1910–1995)

The Swedish poet Karl Vennberg, who was awarded the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 1972, published collections that contained various messages, including criticism towards Western culture and romanticism, and the lauding of everyday life as central.

Finnish-Swedish modern dancer and choreographer Virpi Pahkinen in an outdoor performance at Parkteatern Stockholm, 2013. Photo: Bergbohm (CC BY-SA 4.0)

2019.11.09 | The Quick Read, Petra Broomans, The arts

Ballet in Sweden

Founded in 1773, the Royal Swedish Ballet remained relatively traditional until the early part of the twentieth century when modern dance and dancers from elsewhere, such as Russia, gained influence. Developments since then have included the 1940s renaissance for the Swedish ballet due to an Anglo-American orientation and collaborative projects…

Portrait of Ulla Isaksson from 1952. Photo: Jan Ehnemark. (CC-BY).

2019.11.08 | Biography, Anne Heith, Literature

Ulla Isaksson (1916-2000)

Much of the work of writer Ulla Isaksson focuses on the lives of women and their relationships, but also includes screenplays and autobiograhpical and biographical literature.

Portrait of Lars Ahlin c. 1960. Photo: unknown. Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

2019.10.31 | Biography, Anne Heith, Literature

Lars Ahlin (1915–1997)

Lars Ahlin was a Swedish writer whose work explores aestheticism, degradation and the loss of dignity, as well as equality and democracy.

Gunnar Björling by his typewriter in 1960. Photo: Holger Eklund. Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

2019.10.22 | Biography, Anne Heith, Literature

Gunnar Björling (1887–1960)

Poet Gunnar Björling flouted conventional grammar and syntax rules and is recognised as a radical, modernist in Sweden.

Studio-Based Learning is not only for the arts, but is also used to teach students to think imaginatively in business for example. Picture: KADK, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design, and Conservation, Denmark. Source: https://kadk.dk/galleri/

2019.10.17 | Article, Sille Julie J. Abildgaard, Education, Business, Research

Studio-Based Learning in the Nordics

Studio-Based Learning (SBL) is an educational tradition with a student-centered approach. The practice originates in Northern Europe, where Nordic arts and design programs have a long tradition of using studio spaces for teaching. The physical space is considered a powerful factor in facilitating learning and accomplishing instructional goals, and…

From the period 1956-1970, the welfare state model that is known today in Denmark was established and public welfare benefits began to reach many different parts of society rather than just the weakest. Photo: Jason Vosper, colourbox.dk.

2019.10.09 | Video, Governance, Nation building, Culture

Mini-lecture on the Danish welfare state

Even though the welfare state in the Nordics is under pressure and its design is continously debated, it has rarely been more strongly supported in Danish history. Today, nearly all Danish political parties support the basic welfare society model, and they compete over who is best to secure it. Watch this mini-lecture and hear how, from a…

Portrait of Sonja Åkesson from 1968. Photo: Arne Jönsson/Scanpix. Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

2019.10.03 | Biography, Anne Heith, Literature

Sonja Åkesson (1926–1977)

Swedish poet Sonja Åkesson advocated the use of colloquial language and themes from everyday life, and her style and humour influenced the next generation of particularly women writers and feminists.

This volume was a result of the first seminar on Sámi literature in 1972 where many Sámi authors published their first text. The premise was that one language could not live through another language. Čállagat means 'Written Works'. Photo: Author.

2019.10.01 | Article, Lill Tove Fredriksen, Literature, Minorities, Democracy

A brief history of Sámi literature

Sámi literature's history can be traced from the 1600s and the course of this history can be interpreted in the context of important Sámi, national and international political movements. Sámi literature is literature written by authors who are Sámi, who are members of the Sámi people. In this short article, the Sámi socio-political development…

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