Imagining Norden - branding and Nordic reputation:

Imagining Norden - branding and Nordic reputation

Perceptions of the Nordics abound, from the reputation of the Nordic welfare state to that of interior design. Content on this page seeks to examine the construction and deconstruction of the different 'brands' of the region; why, when, where and how the region, its individual countries, its way of life, what it produces etc are branded. New articles are added regularly. 


Danish stress Ghita Nørby on October 10, 2010. Photo: Mogens Engelund (CC BY-SA 3.0)

2019.03.22 | Biography, Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen, The arts

Ghita Nørby (b. 1935)

The prolific Danish theatre and film actress Ghita Nørby is famous both for her lighter roles in film and theatre as a young actress and for her psychological character portraits in later years.

Faroe stamp with still from Nils Malmros' film Barbara, set in the Faroe Islands. Issued by Postverk Føroya - Philatelic Office (public domain)

2019.03.22 | Biography, Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen, The arts

Nils Malmros (b. 1944)

Danish director Nils Malmros is known for his authentic depictions of the immediate environment of especially children and young adults. His aptitude for capturing the precise tone of language and physical surroundings according to his own recollection is noteworthy.

Carl Th. Dreyer, Danish filmmaker, circa 1915. Photo: Peter Newland (Public domain)

2019.03.22 | Biography, Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen, The arts

Carl Theodor Dreyer (1889-1968)

Danish director Carl Th. Dreyer is world-famous for his films on passion and compassion. Emphatic depictions of religion and especially women’s destiny in societies ruled by men run throughout his work. Meanwhile, a special form of realism, in which minor facial expressions are more important than larger spatial movements, inspires philosophical…

Portait of Einojuhani Rautavaara. Photo: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).

2019.03.18 | Biography, Kyle Frackman, The arts

Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928–2016)

Einojuhani Rautavaara is one of the best-known Finnish composers of the twentieth century. Perhaps most famous globally for his Seventh Symphony, the Angel of Light, he made use of many different musical styles and techniques in a variety of genres, and was not afraid to go against musical trends in composition.

Myyrmäki Church (1984), Vantaa. Photo: author.

2019.03.15 | Biography, William C Miller, Architecture & design

Juha Leiviksä (b. 1936)

The architecture of Finnish architect Juha Leiviksä synthesises an abstract modernism with a sensory, experiential expressionism that results in stunning light-filled interior spaces, especially in his religious buildings.

Town Hall (1939-42), Aarhus (with Erik Møller). Photo: author.

2019.03.15 | Biography, William C Miller, Architecture & design

Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971)

Danish architect and designer Arne Emil Jacobsen is internationally renowned for his modern and functional architecture, furniture, and product designs. Employing a philosophy of ‘economy plus function equals style’, his buildings, furniture and tableware became emblematic of the concept “Danish Modern”.

Kristian Gullichsen, Church (1981), Malmi. Photo by author.

2019.03.15 | Biography, William C Miller, Architecture & design

Kristian Gullichsen (b.1932)

The work of architect Kristian Gullichsen, who is among Finland’s most important designers of the late 20th century, synthesises a cool, restrained modernism with the tactile, experiential, and expressive qualities associated with Finnish architecture.

The Svalbard Seed Vault by night. Photo: Mari Tefre/Global Crop Diversity Trust (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 - photo lighter than original).

2019.03.14 | The Quick Read, Ann Legreid, Region-building, Reputation

Arctic region

The Arctic is a circumpolar region centered on the North Pole, home to diverse human populations, landscapes, vegetation, and wildlife. The climate is harsh supporting a fairly restricted range of occupations, including fishing and hunting, service industries and resource development.

The Scream by Norwegian Edvard Munch portrays the angst of modernism. From Wikimedia Commons, https://foto.munchmuseet.no

2019.03.01 | Article, Unni Langås, Literature, The arts

Modernism in the Nordic countries

As elsewhere, modernism was a movement concerning the profound questioning of traditional values, modes of speaking and interpretations of subjectivity. A mass of Nordic literature was produced that could be said to be modernist, from Norwegian Knut Hamsun’s innovative novels in the 1890s, to the influential high Swedish modernism in poetry led by…

2019.02.25 | Article, Kyle Frackman, Reputation

Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize can be seen as a symbol of both the regular cooperation between among Nordic countries and an expression of their neutrality. Like the other four original Nobel Prizes, the Nobel Peace Prize was established by the last will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel (1833–96).

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