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Blood club #4

Blood and community – how do we create togetherness?

Blood Club is a series of performative encounters where the artists and the audience investigate our contradictory relationship with genetics and culture, with a special focus on the relationship between Sami and Norwegian culture.

In this meeting we search for the ultimate feeling of togetherness: To be as one. What creates a strong community? Blood is thicker than water, that is a fact. With Blood Club we allow ourselves a personal, irreverent and sometimes ironic approach to a subject we take deeply seriously.

The four leaders of Blood Club – Sigbjørn Skåden, Kristina Junttila, Bernt Bjørn and Kristin Bjørn represent archetypes in the North: “The Sami activist”, “the researcher”, “the victim of Norwegianisation” and “the bearer of Norwegian guilt”. In this meeting we try to expand or develop these “types”, and create new roles for the future. Present possibilities, perhaps utopias, that can replace them. There will be speeches, exercises, music by the hard-core-band Ondt Blod, beer, quackery, and high culture. We merge our blood in all directions in our search for the authentic feeling of the Blood Club.

Ferske Scener is based in Tromsø and creates performing arts, meetings and events with a special focus on specific themes, stories, artists and the audience in the northern regions. They create theater and performance with a strong emphasis on audience participation. With their projects, they highlight the linguistic and cultural complexity of Northern Norway.



Review of Blood Club #4

(Ušllu): Ušllu Álbmotgaskasaš Teáhterriemut 2023 – The Oslo International Theatre Festival 2023 at Black Box Theatre is, without doubt, the festival’s most important iteration. Maybe the festival should permanently change its name and become an annual Sami theatre festival?

“Ferske Scener is the group behind Blood Club. The Blood Club leaders are Sigbjørn Skåden, Bernt Bjørn, Kristin Bjørn and Kristina Junttila. Blood Club is a series of performative meetings at which the actors and audience explore the relationship between genetics and culture – with particular focus on Sami and Norwegian culture. The audience is placed around large round tables in the playing space. There is a bar on one short wall where we can buy drinks. On the other is the stage where the hard-core band, Ondt Blod, (Bad Blood) play. There is a party atmosphere. And ‘blodklubb’, or ‘gumppus’, which is traditional party food in Sigbjørn Skåden’s neck of the woods, is served. A video shows the Blood Club leaders taking a DNA test – this becomes the starting point of a personal investigation into where they come from and where they are going. And the audience is involved and invited to find their starting points and thoughts about the way onwards. We are divided into four groups; tall and fair, short and fair, tall and dark, short and dark. The Blood Club leaders each have a group and each represents a North-Norwegian archetype: “The Sami activist” (Sigbjørn Skåden), “The researcher” (Kristina Junttila), “The victim of Norwegianisation” (Bernt Bjørn) and “The bearer of Norwegian guilt” (Kristin Bjørn). Audience members can migrate to another group if they wish to do so. The audience groups asked to join in a competition by each making a theatrical presentation to be assessed by a panel of judges comprising the oldest people in the room. This was an exercise in creating something with people you had never seen or met before or had any relationship with. This worked surprisingly well and of course the short/dark group won the competition hands down. To finish up, everyone hit the dance floor to the sounds of Ondt Blod.”

Elin Lindberg, Norsk Shakespearetidsskrift