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Blood club #3

Can those of us in Blood Club become one big, beating WE? A WE for the future?

Blood Club #3 was the first meeting following the pandemic. The meeting was the final event of Vårscenefest in Tromsø, in April 2022. The subject on this occasion too was the relationship between genetic and cultural community.

The evening’s special guest was Hilde Kristin Liu Skoglund, from Tromsø, born in China of Chinese parents.

Blood Club #3 reviews

“In this project, Ferske Scener appears to be a kind of North-Norwegian heir to Baktruppen’s performative project:

“…genre-transcending, challenging and playing with notions of quality and dramaturgy, aesthetically speaking using what is available as a starting point with a generally playful attitude, while the texts are sharp with real political sting. Blood Club provides hope that it is possible to meet – and party – across cultural divides and preferences. It could definitely be useful for southerners too to be invited to a club evening on a suitable occasion”
Camilla Eeg-Tverbakk for Norsk Shakespearetidskrift


Aage Gaup and Blood Club.
A reflective sketch by Leif Magne Tangen

“(…)If nothing else, the reference to Aage’s work show the significance of Blood Club as an identity-seeking, long-term performance, one that asks critical questions about having, acquiring an identity. But I think Blood Club is more concerned with the critical sides of ‘having’ an identity, where Aage’s work is perhaps a little more closed and possibly a little bureaucratic too. Where Blood Club has created its own universe, one that is expanding, which is full of paradoxes, full of pathos, of narratives and (quasi) facts, Aage’s work is more static in its world, it is concluded” – quote from the text

“Frictional Encounters:
Staging Reconciliation in the performance Blood Club
By Britt Kramvig and Mathias Danbolt et al

Introduction to the article
In 2018 the Norwegian Parliament established a Truth and Reconciliation Committee to “investigate the Norwegianisation policy and injustice against the Sámi and Kven/Norwegian Finnish Peoples” (Commission 2018). The Committee was given three main tasks for its four-year period (2018-2022).

Besides a historical mapping of the policies and ideologies behind the forced assimilation measures against the Sámi, Kven and Norwegian Finnish peoples, the Committee was also asked to examine the repercussions of these policies today, and propose “measures that can create greater equality between the majority and minority population” (ibid).

2018 also saw the establishment of a radically different – if not altogether unrelated – committee of sorts, namely Blodklubb – Klubben for alle som har blod [Blood Club – The Club for All With Blood]. Founded by the Sámi writer Sigbjørn Skåden, the Finnish-Norwegian performance artist Kristina Junttila, the Norwegian dramaturg Kristin Bjørn and the Sámi actor Bernt Bjørn, Blodklubb is a performance project which stages assemblies with the aim to “search for the greater WE, where blood can flood freely between our bodies”. Through an ironic play with notions of blood, genetics and racial science, Blodklubb’s ongoing “club meetings” use interactive performance strategies to stage discussions and debates of the constitution of social, ethnic, and national communities in times ravaged by xenophobia and immigration debates – as well as the Truth and Reconciliation Process.

This article is a performance written in the form of three acts inspired by our participation in the second and third assembly of Blood Club at the Arctic Arts Festival in Hárstták/Harstad in June 2019, and then again at Vårscenefest in Romsa/Tromsø in May 2022.

In this article we suggest reading Blood Club’s complicated political and emotional assembly as an alternative enactment of a truth and reconciliation meeting where the staged encounters between minoritized and majoritized populations are negotiated in ways that call attention to the frictions between different worldings. Blodklubb’s collective assembly stands in stark contrast to the working methods of the official Committee who so far has undertaken a rather withdrawn research- and interview-based approach to the truth and reconciliation process leading to the publishing of a report in September 2022. The article thus builds on the proposition by Kramvig and Verran (2020) that not only storytelling practices but also art works and performance practices can do important work in the ongoing reconciliation process.”