THE PROMISED LAND,
Barents Region / North Korea, 2012

Part 1: ME/WE
brought 2 North Korean mass games instructors, 220 Norwegian Army border guards from the South Varanger Garrison, stationed on the border wirh Russia, and 36 local and visiting volounteers together as human pixels in Norway's biggest-ever living picture sequence. Following the signals of the North Korean instructors, every participant turned over pages of a specially manufactred flip-book, forming a huge, shifting mosaic pictures of well-known motives from the Barents region.

Part 2: GOLDSTARS
In Western media-influenced society almost everyone can be a star with relatively little effort, skills or preparation. Generic and popular shows such as X-factor and Idol bring the dream of instant and fleeting stardom within reach for generations of youth. North Korean culture, however, strongly emphasizes practice, technical perfection and subordination to the collective, with stylists and marketing being a somewhat lower priority. North Korean young musicians keep a high international level, and among the national instruments we find the accordeon. From Kum Song (Gold Star) School of Music in Pyongyang, Traavik brought a quintet of the school's most talented accordeon students to perform a concert program of Korean and international hits during the festival, as well as accompanying the ME/WE performance live. The now-famous YouTube clip of the Gold Stars' catapulted the young performers to international fame. See media gallery below for more!

Part 3: NORWAY ON NORWAY
Inspired by the geopolitical situation on the Korean peninsula, Traavik collaborated with North Korean software engineers to develop the simple and fun strategic computer game Norway On Norway. Just like on the chess board of global politics, the player(s) has to rely on skills and luck in equal measure to achieve successful reunification, while handling not only outside interference from bigger foreign powers like EU, USA and Russia but even conflicts of interest with indigenous minorities like the Saami.

WATCH AND LISTEN:


Take on Me, North Korea Style – the now world-famous video

ME/WE – A North Korean Mass Game in Kirkenes, Norway

North Korean accordion performance at Barents Secretariat, Kirkenes, Norway

Arirang show by Norwegian Border Guards

Take on Me, performed by Kum Song Ensemble at KIMEK Shipyard, Kirkenes, Norway
 

SELECTED PRESS COVERAGE


ENGLISH:

Wall Street Journal Asia, 05.02.12

CBC Radio, Canada 08.02.12

Voice of America, 09.02.12

BBC News Asia, 10.02.12

Cutting Egde News, 12.02.12

Associated Press, 13.02.12

BBC World Service, The Strand 13.02.12

BarentsObserver, Barents region 11.02.12

ABC Radio, Australia 23.02.12

Daily Mail, UK 22.03.12

3 News, New Zealand 24.03.12

GERMAN:

Spiegel Online, 08.02.2012

Stern.de, 13.02.12

ZDF TV, 04.03.2012

RUSSIAN:

RIA Novosti, 04.02.12

TV21, 14.02.12

Novaya Gazeta, 16.02.12

KOREAN:

Voice of Asia, 07.02.12

NORWEGIAN:

NRK.no, 02.02.2012

Aftenposten, 03.02.12

TV2, 11.02.2012

Aftenposten, 16.02.12

Dagbladet, 16.02.12

NRK Urix, 16.02.12

Dagbladet, 26.02.12

Aftenposten 27.02.12

Skriftlig spørsmål fra Morten Høglund (FrP) til Forsvarsministeren 27.05.12

NRK.no, 28.02.12


Photos: Morten Traavik, Mikhail Slavin, Bernt Nilsen, Marius E. Hauge, Morten Strøksnes,
Christopher Olssøn, Thomas Nilsen, Carl Dieker, Kjetil M. Sørenes, Ilya Utekhin
(c) REPRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION AND ANY OTHER USE BY PERMISSION ONLY