Pikene på Broen: Cross-border Cooperation
Astrid Fadnes and Oleg Khadartsev

As part of Toril Johannessen’s exhibition “Deterrence and Reassurance” Bergen Kunsthall invites to a talk by Astrid Fadnes and Oleg Khadartsev, curators of Barents Spektakel 2024 titled “Soft Shields”, organised by Pikene på Broen.

Pikene på Broen, established in 1996, is a collective of curators and producers based in the north-eastern Norwegian town of Kirkenes. Located 15km from the Russian border and 50km from the Finnish border the town of Kirkenes is ideally placed for cross-border cooperation and cultural exchange in the Arctic. Their activities range from running the gallery and project space Terminal B, the residency BAR International and the festival Barents Spektakel.

With Barents Spektakel 2024’s theme “Soft Shields”, the festival looked at the current situation in the region; the ongoing war in Europe, NATO’s expansion, the increases in defence budgets, and accelerated weapon production. t the same time the Norwegian defence policy isincreasingly emphasises ‘civilian preparedness’ in the north, raisíng so many questions in the further development and settlement of northern Norway and the east of Finnmark. What does the heavy militarisation mean for the already militarised North? How is everyday life affected by a strong military presence, and where do the everyday lives of the civilians and military in the North intersect?

Oleg Khadartsev is a curator and media artist. He currently works as a curator and media producer in Pikene på Broen, Kirkenes.

Astrid Fadnes is artistic director at Pikene på Broen, and is a writer and art and architecture critic.

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