Scan Magazine, Issue 97, February 2017

Page 112

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Nordic Matters

Photo: Belinda Lawley

Find your inner Scandi at Nordic Matters Look to Scandinavia and you will find remarkably happy children, an unmatched quality of life, a fresh approach to education, and sustainable energy – all accompanied by saunas and scented candles. The Southbank Centre honours all things Scandinavian with Nordic Matters, a year-long festival of Nordic art and culture in 2017, featuring a variety of music and dance, theatre and visual arts, talks and debates, and gastronomy. By Charlotte van Hek

The smorgasbord of Nordic influences that have been spreading across the world recently is hard to ignore. The global pull of Scandinavian life shines through in design, fashion, gastronomy and even politics – something the Southbank Centre has picked up on. “The Nordic region has come to occupy a special place in our imaginative landscape,” says Ted Hodgkinson, co-programmer of the Nordic Matters festival. “We go there for excellence in particular art forms, but also more broadly to renew our sense of play and the possibilities it can create in society as a whole, from education to design and beyond.” 112  |  Issue 97  |  February 2017

Chosen from a number of international applicants, London’s Southbank Centre was the sole recipient of a grant from The Nordic Council of Ministers for hosting a festival that would celebrate the best of Nordic art and culture throughout 2017, one of the biggest culturalpolitical partnerships of its kind. Jude Kelly, artistic director at the Southbank Centre, says: “It is a great honour for the UK and Southbank Centre to have been chosen to host Nordic Matters in 2017. In an ever-changing world, it is even more crucial that we celebrate the ways in which culture can bring us together, rather than driving us apart. The Nordic coun-

tries have long been at the forefront of social change, and their enlightened approach to culture and education chimes with Southbank Centre’s own belief in the power of the arts to transform lives.”

Showcasing Scandinavia Nordic Matters showcases the richness and diversity of all Nordic countries, including the lesser-known Greenland, Åland and the Faroe Islands. A main focus will be on three main themes influenced by Nordic identity and society: fostering curiosity and creativity; sustainability; and gender equality. There is something to suit all tastes: from Nordic film screenings to captivating musical performances, from mindblowing art installations to interesting readings. Feeling keen to join in? Activities range from mass feasts and a flat-pack hack workshop to a learning through play workshop hosted by a LEGO® team. Other ways to roll up your

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