Barents Spektakel is Norway’s most border-crossing festival!

The festival is a cultural-political cocktail with contemporary art and music, theatre and performance, science-fiction and design and seminars and debates as its ingredients – all spiced with current issues related to the Barents Region and the High North in general. Between the 23rd and the 27th of February 2022 we invite for the 18th edition of the Barents Spektakel festival!

Despite the challenges that have arisen with the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival was held in 2021 – albeit as a hybrid edition with a combination of local and digital events.

Because the global, regional and local health and safety situation is constantly changing, the 2022 festival is also planned, subject to change. However, we continue our “satellite strategy” with our Russian partners – where we plan for events in Petrozavodsk, Nikel, Murmansk and St. Petersburg that will be connected to the festival in Kirkenes. We cross our fingers that we can once again also invite to physical and social meeting places! However, our priority is first and foremost that everyone should be safe, at the same time as we continue the festival’s intentions and special, cross-border profile. Check out our social media and website for the latest updates about the festival!

Barents Spektakel 2022:

A new golden age of celebration and decadence? A long overdue reunion with friends and family? Or a false dawn for normality? The 2022 edition of the Barents Spektakel festival borrows its title from Martin Luther King Jr’s book on equality and social justice, and it will continue the conversations opened under the 2021 festival in relation to what is ‘essential’ in culture, society, and our ways of living here in the North. With a special focus this time on movements, mobility, community, and the re-making of meeting places, in 2022 the festival will again become a platform for speculation and imagination through a cross-border programme of performances, exhibitions, concerts, debates, discussions, a bar concept, and an art symposium. Insecure times and still in transition and still in transition, now is the time to ask ourselves: Where do we go from here?

The question extends through geographic, rhetorical, environmental, and political territories. From the new politics and practicalities of vaccine passports, and the radical changes for travel, tourism, and freedom of movement, to the more local processes of emerging from our homes and bedrooms back again into tightly packed public social spaces – what are the lessons we can take with us from our collective covid experience, as well as our specific northern story of the past two years? What kind of culture and ways of living are now needed in the age of misinformation, public health decision-making, and upcoming transitions? Should we expect a return to hyper consumption and rapid economic growth, despite the warnings of an increasingly warming climate? What does all this mean in the context of ‘the green transition’ in the North?’ How can these thoughts and gestures reach local communities in the Barents region, and help them stay connected in the future? And how do we encourage long-term thinking when we have these discussions?

Asking questions is a natural part of life and living, and the festival intends to ask many this year – some old and some new. Will we get the answers we’re looking for? Or is this a search that will only continue?

The 18th edition of the Barents Spektakel festival will take place between the 23rd and 27th of February in Kirkenes, and across multiple venues in Russia. More details coming soon…


Neal Cahoon
curatorial team
Mobile: +47 48 66 82 29


Inger Blix Kvammen
curatorial team/senior advisor
Mobile: +47 95 06 45 64


Franziska Kraiczy
managing director
Mobile: +47 98 62 95 14


Kjetil Nicolaisen
technical manager
Mobile: +47 98 11 78 57

Ingrid Valan
curatorial team
Mobile: +47 48 14 03 95


Astrid Fadnes
Mobile: ‭+47 97 71 92 34‬


Evgeny Goman
project manager
Mobile: +7 963 363 57 22