Norwegian Progress Party protests ‘nationalist’ stamp, Parliament summons Culture Minister / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian Progress Party protests ‘nationalist’ stamp, Parliament summons Culture Minister. UPDATED: Things are far from quiet behind the Blue lines. The Conservatives’ (H) Thorhild Widvey will be facing MPs left, right, and centre in a dispute over FrP, adjectives, and her phone call to a Norway museum’s chairperson of the board after apparently getting new information. The parliamentary summons comes in the wake of the Minister of Culture’s intervention regarding a text written by Trondheim Kunstmuseum director Pontus Kyander. Progress politicians have hardly raised any questions in parliament for half a year and contest they have Far-Right tendencies. The FrP fury flies each time elected officials catch a whiff of this.

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Norwegian Progress Party protests ‘nationalist’ stamp, Parliament summons Culture Minister

Published on Thursday, 13th February, 2014 at 16:04 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 17th February 2014 at 10:26.

UPDATED: Things are far from quiet behind the Blue lines. The Conservatives’ (H) Thorhild Widvey will be facing MPs left, right, and centre in a dispute over FrP, adjectives, and her phone call to a Norway museum’s chairperson of the board after apparently getting new information.

Trondheim Kunstmuseum
Progress are upset with this museum's director's statements about nationalism. Trondheim Kunstmuseum
Photo: © Erik Reitan/Trondheim kunstmuseum


National superiority is unfounded

The parliamentary summons comes in the wake of the Minister of Culture’s intervention regarding a text written by Trondheim Kunstmuseum director Pontus Kyander.

Progress politicians have hardly raised any questions in parliament for half a year and contest they have Far-Right tendencies. The FrP fury flies each time elected officials catch a whiff of this.

The cat is now amongst the pigeons following the discovery of Mr Kyander’s published words.

Mr Kyander, a Finnish national (in who’s country Swedish is also spoken), wrote a lengthier text last year in the museum’s spring exhibition programme.

One of the themes he deals with in it is the global return of nationalism. In this bicentennial celebratory year of Norway’s constitution, the forthcoming programme also deals with issues of minorities, nations, and nationalism.

Mr Kyander expresses his views about “nationalism in its ugliest form”. He talks in relation to people feeling superiority over others Culture Minister Thorhild Widvey
Culture Minister Thorhild Widvey
Ilja C. Hendel
with claims such as “We are better, as we are richer/older/younger/democratic/are a republic/are a kingdom/have a richer culture/have more weapons/finer nature and better views/are of a better race”.

In his view, nationalism is not purely to do with people being confident and proud of whom they are, what they have achieved, or positive feelings about a place just because they live there.

He adds that these feelings are formed into an ideology in the framework of nationalism, “and this ideology says in short: “We are better”.

“In this sense, Norwegian nationalism is no better than any other. It is the same, it behaves just like any other form of nationalism, and it comes with the same mechanisms of exclusion,” he writes. “Nationalist parties – FrP is one – are dangerous as they make relative notions of human communality, of human rights, of equality.”

“They are an acid eating our souls, eroding our respect for others – if these others for one or another reason walk on the same soil as we ourselves. This is our land, not theirs. We are proud owners of this nation, and they are not. We have rights, they have not."

Not just about Progress

Pontus Kyander, the museum's director
Pontus Kyander, the museum's director
© Benjamin Olavsen/Trondheim kunstmuseum
“I’m not talking primarily about FrP,” Mr Kyander tells The Foreigner. “Nationalism is a term for a sort of identity focused on the nation, as well perhaps religion and other aspects.

He also comments that any focus on nationalism in Norway needs to take into account that it is a country with a number of other minorities.

“This [focusing on nationalism] might exclude others. Norwegian nationalism is no better or worse than any other nationalism,” says Mr Kyander.

According to him, the current debate on the issue regarding his text is not about Progress and nationalism.

“It’s about issues to do with freedom of speech, constitutional rights, and government intervention. The government’s intervention is micro-management of a small local museum. To put it this way, they have a very busy period ahead, and there’s no reason for why they should get themselves involved in these issues at all.”

“I’m still quite shocked about this being the way it works. A government Minister shouldn’t call people every time they write something he/she disagrees with. I’m rather dumbfounded,” Mr Kyander remarks.

The Foreigner asked the Ministry of Culture why the issue has only come up now, considering the programme was published last month.

"This is because Minister of Culture Thorild Widvey's political advisor informed her about the possible news story in regional paper Adresseavisen," says press spokesperson Elisabeth Fjørtoft.

The publication ran the articles this week.

"She informed the Minister of this," Ms Fjørtoft concludes.




Published on Thursday, 13th February, 2014 at 16:04 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 17th February 2014 at 10:26.

This post has the following tags: norwayimmigration, foreignersnorway, progressparty.





  
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