|Our festival "På Karlsøy i Troms", which
translates simply to "On the island of Karlsøy in the county of
Troms (in Norway)" is mainly a music event.
But it is more than that. "På Karlsøy i Troms" was a well known song in Norway from the time around 1970. It is a protestsong against the policy that made people move from the rural areas of northern Norway to the south and the towns.
The island of Karlsøy is situated at exactly 70 degrees north and 20 degrees east, "at the edge of civilisation" as a danish journalist wrote, and it was almost abandoned in the sixties. People were paid by the government to move away.
In 1972 young people started to move to the island and made their living from agriculture and fishing. Karlsøy became a symbol of the struggle against centralisation and urbanisation of the norwegian society, and a symbol for the people who representre diversity and acceptanse of all other ways of being and cultural expression.
A lot of things have happened on our small island throughout these years. Although having been less than 100 inhabitants (while many more have been living here for shorter periods) we have lived through periods of anarchism, socialism, punk, buddhism, Islam and you name it - and we have always made the norwegian media:-) There was even once a 1.5 hour documentary made around 1990 that was shown primetime on the national television.
In the years that have gone there has been many events similar to festivals, but last year the people of Karlsøy decided to have an annual festival the first weekend of august. This festival focuses on music, but there will be art-exibitions and several other activities and happenings. It will of course focus on the values that we have represented all along: against racism, capitalism, urbanism, and for living closer to nature and accepting the diversity of peoples beliefs, ways of being and cultural expressions.
In 2000 we had artists originating from Algeria, Ghana, Litaunia, Germany as well as, of course, from the nordic countries. The program this year is not ready yet, but there will be artists from many different cultural backgrounds.
The "På Karlsøy i Troms" site has the URL http://karlsoyfestival.com/
The island of Karlsøy has its own site at http://www.tjener.uninett.no/~karlsoy/
And you can look at some of our flowers :-) at http://sveinegil.net/flora/
Listen to the music (made by Karlsøy Prestegaard) of the documentary from the island at http://www.tjener.uninett.no/~karlsoy/karlsoya/musikk.htm
We're sorry that all this is in norwegian only.