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2_Q9_ScanMag_78_July_2015_Text_JOE _Scan Magazine 1 07/07/2015 15:46 Page 45

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Culture in Norway

Book sculpture in the middle of the shopping centre in Sarpsborg, illustrating how the literature week is influencing the whole city in various ways.

The literature week cooperates with the Culture School, and this mask is made of recycled books.

A literature festival with close ties to Roald Dahl The literature week in Sarpsborg is in itself a historical treasure, being the oldest of its kind in Norway. Add Roald Dahl and interesting social topics to the picture, and you’re left with one of the most fascinating literature events of its kind. By Helene Toftner | Photos: Sarpsborgs' literature week

The literature week in Sarpsborg kicks off between 2-8 November, and is an interesting contribution to the world of books and writing with its constant light on social issues. “Books change people, and eventually the world,” manager Torill Stokkan says. The upcoming festival is titled Du må ikke sove (You must not sleep), and acts as a marker of the 70-year anniversary of the end of the Second World War. “We aim to showcase the topic in all different ways,” Stokkan explains. “For example, we present a lecture by the author Sigrun Slapgard who talks about her new book portraying the painter Anders C. Svarstad and author Sigrid Undset, whose son was one of the first Norwegians to fall in the War. Another part looks at the role of women during this period, which we now know so

much more about, thanks to new research, books and films.”

important, as it kicks of the 1,000 year anniversary of the city, albeit a couple of months early. “2016 is an important year for us and the city of Sarpsborg, and there will be an array of interesting cultural events of all kinds throughout the whole year,” Stokkan says enthusiastically.

The theme could not be more consistent, as Roald Dahl was a RAF pilot during the war, and his father was born in Sarpsborg. “We are very proud to be able to incorporate Dahl and his works and each year we host a children’s writing competition in his name,” Stokkan notes. The literature week in Sarpsborg dates back to 1949, making it the oldest literature festival in Norway. “We have a legacy to maintain, and we are always looking at new ways of encouraging people to read and write more,” Stokkan says, and points out that they are not only limited to the one week in November each year. “We host various literary events,” she says. This year’s festival however is particularly

The well-known author Jan Kjærstad has been a guest at the week several times, and this March he also held a writing course. Photo: Elisabeth Rønbeck.

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Issue 78 | July 2015 | 45

Scan Magazine | Issue 78 | July 2015  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with author Åsne Seierstad.