Norwegians focus on modern-day death / News / The Foreigner

Norwegians focus on modern-day death. Humans’ mortality emerges as a featured trend on TV and in public spaces in Norway. Death is the subject of conversation on many blogs, making its way into pop culture and art. One institution picking up the subject is state broadcaster NRK with its five-part series ‘Kisten’ (‘The coffin’) which premiered, Monday. Six celebrities explore the subject of life and death with programme leader Namra Saleem.

death, norway, tv



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Norwegians focus on modern-day death

Published on Friday, 25th April, 2014 at 10:51 under the news category, by Emma Åsberg and Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 25th April 2014 at 11:23.

Humans’ mortality emerges as a featured trend on TV and in public spaces in Norway.

Funeral flowers
This white flower arrangement can be used for a funeral.Funeral flowers
Photo: Mogens Engelund/Wikimedia Commons


Death is the subject of conversation on many blogs, making its way into pop culture and art.

One institution picking up the subject is state broadcaster NRK with its five-part series ‘Kisten’ (‘The coffin’) which premiered, Monday. Six celebrities explore the subject of life and death with programme leader Namra Saleem.

Ms Saleem drives home to each person with a coffin on the roof of her car before giving the item to them – which gives the series its name.

“Death is an entertaining and inspiring series on the one thing we know for sure: that there is an end,” Flimmer Film production company write in their blurb about the programme.

“The presence of death in our lives is far larger than we often think, and it has a fascination effect on how we lead our lives. This series will probe this often yielded subject with humour, curiosity, openness, and respect.”

Project manager for ‘Kisten’ Nils Gelting Andresen remarks “I began noticing how a similar theme is appearing in several places after we began working with death as an issue. It’s probably a reaction against all things superficial in society.”

Meanwhile, Oslo’s first death café is about to open in the Scandinavian country just across the border from Sweden, birthplace of sometimes cheerless now late director Ingmar Bergman.

“I absolutely believe that this [mentioning death] is a trend in our age. People start writing blogs after they become seriously ill and bereaved people create pages on Facebook in memory of those lost,” priest Liv Hegle, who works with Aeropagos, a volunteer organisation that works with religious dialogue amongst other things.

“Newspapers put celebrities’ deaths on the front page,” she added.

NRK reported Ms Hegle has been to the new death café in Oslo, saying that it is positive that death is being more openly talked about.

“We use a lot of energy, consciously or sub-consciously, to repress thoughts about death. But the clearer and more settled relationship we have with death, the better we can live our lives.”

There is also currently an exhibition showing at the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology (external link) in Oslo up until the end of August this year.

‘Life before death’ is showing 26 portraits of death, which explores experiences, hope and fear of the ones that are dying, giving “them one more opportunity to be heard”, according to the description.

In preparing the ‘Noch Mal Leben’ exhibition, journalist Beate Lakotta and photographer Walter Schels from Germany asked terminally ill people if they could accompany them during their last weeks and days.

The 26 people gave their permission, with the majority of those portrayed spending time in hospices, and compiling the material-gathering took over one year. The exhibition is in collaboration with the Norwegian Cancer Society (external link).

“All those who come to such places realise that their lives are drawing to a close. They know there is not much time left to settle their personal affairs. Yet hardly anyone here is devoid of hope: they hope for a few more days; they hope that a dignified death awaits them or that death will not be the end of everything,” the blurb reads.

Cancer Society general secretary Anne Lise Ryel remarked that it is generally important not to ignore or forget about serious illnesses and death.

“The commitment we have seen shows that there is a need for more openness on this issue.”

“We see more and more ordinary people who blog or are open about their cancer. At the same time, there is an increasing number of famous people who share their thoughts about their illness and the fact that they are dying. Their openness has helped many people talk about dying in a more natural way,” she said.

While praising this dialogue and transparency, many warn against a simplifying of such a complex issue, however.

Per Fugelli, professor in social medicine and social commentator propagates an open dialogue about death. His book, ‘Døden, skal vi danse?’ (‘Death, shall we dance?’), was released in 2010 after he was diagnosed with cancer.

“More openness is great, but we must be careful not to make it banal and create a popular fashion wave out of this. Death will always be a deeply undesirable event. It’s human to fear it. We must find honest and wise ways of living with it,” he commented.




Published on Friday, 25th April, 2014 at 10:51 under the news category, by Emma Åsberg and Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 25th April 2014 at 11:23.

This post has the following tags: death, norway, tv.





  
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