This blog contains shorter items, in English and Norwegian. Some of the texts were written for this blog, while others have previously been published elsewhere.
A university is not a car factory. And our students are not components to be assembled and processed on a production line in the most technocratically efficient manner without a thought for the culture or working environment in which they learn and develop.
Taking a few steps back, I used the invitation to write an essay about anthropology in Norway as a pretext for delving slightly more deeply into the beginnings – from Eilert Sundt to Gutorm Gjessing – than what is usual.
In Gladstone, even the sunset is sponsored by the fossil fuel industry. To watch the sun setting in the west, you must also simultaneously stare at the three tall, symmetrical columns of Gladstone Power Station.
“It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism” – says the famous phrase, often attributed to Frederic Jameson and Slavoj Zizek, and referring to the lack of realistic alternative systems .
In October, 2017, I spoke about Overheating at the annual TEDx event in Trondheim, central Norway.
The world is ‘overheated’. Too full and too fast; uneven and unequal. It is the age of the Anthropocene, of humanity’s indelible mark upon the planet. In short, it is globalisation – but not as we know it.
Mainstream newspapers, politicians and commentators across Europe instantly expressed dejection and bitterness in the face of the Brexit outcome, and avid Brexiteers have typically been portrayed as xenophobes and bigots, Little Englanders or foolish opportunists incapable of understanding the dangerous ramifications and likely Domino effects of their choice.
This text began as a radio essay on BBC Radio 4 in November 2015, later developed into a web essay at Versopolis. It chronicles the shift from the mid 20th to the early 21st century through a meditation on “The metamorphosis of the Holmenkollen ski jumping hill”.
The events in Cologne have sparked controversies across Europe. This time, the topic is not the economic and social costs of the refugee crisis, but questions concerning culture and gender. We need a proper language in which to address these issues.
Two dramatic events, one unfolding over the last several years, the other a sudden shock, currently eclipse all other issues. Syrians desperate to escape their broken country enter neighbouring and European countries in huge numbers, and a handful of bloodthirsty fanatics have killed over a hundred random, innocent people in Paris.
A few months ago, it was as if everybody wanted to be Charlie (Hebdo). This gesture was laudable enough (if not always credible), but who wants to be Edward Snowden?
It was the most complicated of things, a love triangle involving young professionals who were meant to collaborate, and who did, but whose contrasting personalities and diverging agendas immediately led to tensions which would tear them apart.
As a young schoolboy in the 1970s, I learned that there were two kinds of countries in the world: The industrialized countries and the developing countries. In Norwegian, they were abbreviated as i-land and u-land (“i-countries and d-countries”).
No, I’m not arguing that everything should be free. Just academic articles. And I mean really free, in most senses of the word.
I’ve been reading Naomi Klein’s new book This Changes Everything, and it is quite disappointing. There is little by way of intellectual excitement, sense of discovery or curiosity to be had from the book.
Progressive rock can be seen as a barometer of the Zeitgeist of its time. Not only was there optimism, but there was also a widespread belief that it was possible to do things differently. All sorts of things, really.
There is no shortage of knowledge about global environmental and climate problems. It is necessary, therefore, to ask: Why is nothing happening?
Last Saturday, I published a post in Norwegian about the populist Progress Party, currently a junior partner in a Conservative-led government around here. It hadn’t occurred to me that it would be widely read (my blog was notoriously ignored and sadly neglected), but to my great surprise, it began to spread epidemically on Facebook within hours.
Noe har skjedd med verden de siste årene: Alt går fortere enn før.
Some years ago, I found myself in the passenger seat of a car trying to make its way through the city centre of Lahore.
Det er anarkisten Lill-Ann Chepstow-Lusty, med bakgrunn blant annet som fotograf i Gateavisa, som sammen med Svein Gullbekk er kurator for Kulturhistorisk museums jubileumsutstilling om frihet, og det merkes alt før du har satt føttene på innsiden av utstillingslokalet i Frederiks gate.