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People for the Norwegian Way
September 9, 2012 5:44 AM   Subscribe

Fantastic Norway has announced details of their New Utøya project, ‘a strategy for re-establishing a political camp on the island of Utøya. "Our ambition has been to reflect and reinforce values such as commitment, solidarity, diversity and democracy, both through form and function. In short we have done this by establishing a small village with small streets, belfry and a town square on the very top of the island. The village consists of many small units that together ad up to a bigger community: A symbol of unity and diversity." say the project leaders, Erlend Blakstad Haffner and Håkon Matre Aasarød, who won the Iakov Chernikov International Prize in 2010. The 22 July Fund of the Worker's Youth League raised $68 million to build the memorial to the 69 victims of Anders Behring Breivik's attack on the island. Via Things Magazine.
posted by parmanparman (14 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
THIS is how you deal with terrorism.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:12 AM on September 9, 2012 [12 favorites]


$68 million for a memorial? I intend no disparagement of the victims of this crime when I say this, but surely a very nice memorial could be made for a couple million and something more proactively beneficial to people's lives done with the rest.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:21 AM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


but surely a very nice memorial could be made for a couple million and something more proactively beneficial to people's lives done with the rest.

Surely this is something for the Norwegian government and the victims and their families to decide.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:47 AM on September 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


It seems that fund is for both the memorial and this New Utoya Project, so it seems like they're not intending to blow all the cash on some massive statue but something that will have social uses.
posted by Abiezer at 6:50 AM on September 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


$68 million for a memorial? I intend no disparagement of the victims of this crime when I say this, but surely a very nice memorial could be made for a couple million and something more proactively beneficial to people's lives done with the rest.

Wait till you hear how much the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport cost!
posted by jaduncan at 7:29 AM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not been without controversy.
Fears new Utøya "may exacerbate the grief of the bereaved
Shocking and Inhumane
Utøya-mom: - Eskil Pedersen must resign
Divided on Utøya future
Utøya-mother asks Eskil Pedersen withdraw
(There are many more articles.) The gist is that by returning it to a camp for youth involvement in a political party means that there will almost literally be dancing on the graves of those who died.

I can understand that sentiment. I wonder if the place was geared for something more solemn (but still useful) than a camp, the people would find it easier or more acceptable. For example, after the Columbine shooting they removed the library entirely and built a new one plus an atrium. The parents of victims approved of this and joined in the effort.

It's a difficult thing, to be respectful and yet still use land on which a terrible event occurred.
posted by Houstonian at 7:38 AM on September 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


THIS is how you deal with terrorism.

True. Though, I think it being an act of domestic terrorism committed by an extremist loner makes it less difficult to respond to.
posted by FJT at 7:53 AM on September 9, 2012


$68 million for a memorial?

No. They're currently raised 40 million NOK (almost USD $7 million), but that is for the entire "new island" project. The projected expense of the project is now 60 million NOK, or roughly USD 1.05 million.

Those numbers are from the official island site.
posted by rune at 8:34 AM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, if Utøya can no longer be used as it was before the murders, you could say Breivik had won, changed the political culture of Norway, if only indirectly. But yes, this is something the families of those who died there have to have a large say in.

(Incidently, this was still the best response to Breivik and all he stands for, getting thousands of Norwegians to sing the exact same song he hates as a symbol of multiculturalism, as an affirmation of everything he wanted to destroy. Brings tears to my eyes every time I see it.)
posted by MartinWisse at 8:43 AM on September 9, 2012


No. They're currently raised 40 million NOK (almost USD $7 million), but that is for the entire "new island" project. The projected expense of the project is now 60 million NOK, or roughly USD 1.05 million.

You missed a 0. 60 million NOK is 10,4466,000 USD at the current exchange rate.
posted by plep at 9:57 AM on September 9, 2012


plep: "You missed a 0. 60 million NOK is 10,4466,000 USD at the current exchange rate."

And you seem to have added a digit somewhere. Those Norwegian numbers sure are hard to translate!
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:42 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


$68 million for a memorial? I intend no disparagement of the victims of this crime when I say this, but surely a very nice memorial could be made for a couple million and something more proactively beneficial to people's lives done with the rest.

It's pretty crass to be arguing dollar amounts per se, but the Oklahoma City Memorial cost $29 million, the Pentagon Memorial cost $22 million, the Flight 93 Memorial will cost $60 million, and the budget for the National September 11 Museum and Memorial is over half a billion dollars. "A couple million" has likely been spent on at least one local memorial with little geographical connection to the 9/11 attacks. Some of the above memorials likely require that alone in annual operating funds.

Personally, I like the idea of this project, as I would rather create something that would continue to give back rather than focus on bereavement. I actually think there's a wave of this sort of commemoration going on, such as our latterly creating a Second World War memorial in Washington, something the people who actually fought that one seemed not to feel necessary. I have been to Civil War sites, to museums, to memorials, and even to Grant's Tomb, and they have all been quite ignored by modern-day Americans. It's easy, I think, to overestimate future generations' need to remember something that will one day be distant history.
posted by dhartung at 12:54 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The gist is that by returning it to a camp for youth involvement in a political party means that there will almost literally be dancing on the graves of those who died.

That it's a camp owned by the party is almost precisely why I would think re-opening it makes sense. A random caravan site that the party was using? No. But for somewhere where such a high percentage of the people involved in the party have passed through, it makes sense.

I actually think there's a wave of this sort of commemoration going on, such as our latterly creating a Second World War memorial in Washington, something the people who actually fought that one seemed not to feel necessary. I have been to Civil War sites, to museums, to memorials, and even to Grant's Tomb, and they have all been quite ignored by modern-day Americans. It's easy, I think, to overestimate future generations' need to remember something that will one day be distant history.

The counterexample to that, though, is the obligatory First World War memorial in what seems like every village in parts of Europe. (Canada has them too.) We're just about at the point where the First World War is no longer in living memory and I think those memorials still have meaning. Or even the big Soviet memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin, which, as memorials go, hasn't aged that well, given that it features quotations of Stalin, remains fairly powerful when you remember it's not weirdly huge for the sake of it, but because it's doubling as a mass grave.

I do agree, though, that the Second World War memorial in Washington is off somehow. I guess it feels a little like they built it lest someone wonder 100 years from now why there wasn't one.
posted by hoyland at 2:32 PM on September 9, 2012


THIS is how you deal with terrorism.

As was this: In Norway, a New Model for Justice
posted by homunculus at 4:12 PM on September 9, 2012


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