Lecture: Anne Gjelsvik

“Facing the Terror: Remembrance and Apprehension in the Aftermath of the Norwegian Terror Attacks of 22/7”

This event is hosted by the Berkeley Film and Media Seminar and co-sponsored by the Department of Scandinavian.

This talk investigates how Norwegian media, writers, and artists have faced the ungraspable terror attacks that took place on July 22, 2011, when one man singlehanded killed 77 people, most of the young participants at a youth camp at Utøya just outside of Oslo. Three central questions have been recurring in both media and art during the aftermath: How could this happen? How can we understand the terrorist? And how should we remember the victims? I will particularly discuss how writers and artist have used written and visual portraits as means of understanding terrorism, and by way of doing so I will also address differences and similarities between media. One of the overall aims of my ongoing research is to discuss how we can find a proper language to deal with the indescribable elements of terror. Discussion will include examples across media, such as Terrorens ansikt (The Face of Terror, 2013), a book on the terrorist Anders Behring Breivik’s trial by Tom Egil Hverven (text) and artist Sverre Malling (drawings); Aasne Seierstad One of us (2013/2015) (a written portrait of Anders Behring Breivik as well as three of his victims); and photographer Andrea Gjestvang’s One Day in History (portraits of the survivors from Utøya).


“Sea of roses” in Oslo in the aftermath of the attacks