Falstad Centre

The building in Nord-Trøndelag Country that today houses the Falstad Centre was used as a death camp by the Germans during World War II. The art projects here make wartime history relevant to our own times, while also provoking wider reflections on the role of art in a place with such negative associations.


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  • The Long Silence, av Roddy Bell. Photographer: Per Formo
  • Falstadsenteret, Ekne, Nord-Trøndelag.
  • The Long Silence, av Roddy Bell.
  • The Ears of the Field, av Siri Austeen.
  • The Long Silence, av Roddy Bell.
  • The Long Silence, av Roddy Bell.
  • Stillbilde fra filmen, av Anna Baumgart.
  • Stillbilde fra filmen, av Anna Baumgart.
  • Stillbilde fra video, av Darko Stojkov.
  • The Ears of the Field, av Siri Austeen.
  • The Ears of the Field, av Siri Austeen.
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About the project

About the project

Falstad Centre

About the project

The Falstad Centre, which includes a museum as well as a human rights centre, is located in Levanger in Nord-Trøndelag County in northern Norway. The main building, which dates from 1921, was used until World War II as a technical school for disadvantaged boys. In 1941, the German occupying forces converted the building into a prison camp. 4,500 prisoners of 13 nationalities were interned in the camp, with the majority being Norwegian political prisoners. For Soviet and Yugoslavian prisoners, Falstad was a death camp. In the period 1942–1943, over 200 prisoners, including 43 Norwegians, were executed and buried in mass graves in the nearby forest.

After the war Falstad was used for some years as a labour camp for Norwegians who had collaborated with the Germans. Later the building became a special school. The Falstad Centre Foundation was established in 2000 and took over the building six years later. The old building has been thoroughly restored and many of the traces of the centre’s grim history have been erased, although some furnishings and objects have been preserved.

Creating art projects in such a place requires one to engage in reflection over the ethical role of art. The organizers decided to implement a series of temporary art projects that could serve as part of the centre’s work to disseminate knowledge. So far four art projects have been implemented at Falstad. In 2009 the centre hosted two installations, Ears of the Field by Siri Austeen (NO) and The Long Silence by Roddy Bell (UK/NO). These installations were accompanied by a seminar titled History, Art and the Present, in which the artworks were considered in a broader context.

The organizers also wished to feature art by artists from countries that were particularly affected by the killings at Falstad. In furtherance of this goal, in 2010 Falstad hosted works by the Polish film maker Anna Baumgart and the Serbian video artist Darko Stojkov. Baumgart’s Fresh Cherries and Stojkov’s Second Journey both took their starting points in stories from World War II, highlighting the relationship between the past and the present. This temporary exhibition was also followed by a seminar, where topics for discussion included the documentation and presentation of wartime history.

Facts

Facts

Address

Falstadvegen 59, 7624 Ekne

Date completed

01.06.2010

Project manager

Dag Wiersholm, KORO

Art consultant/Art Committee

Per Formo
Anna Helga Henning

Architect

Arkitektene Fosse og Aasen as

Building owner/developer

Statsbygg

Duration

Temporary exhibition

Accessibility

Accessible by the public

Program

Art scheme for new government-owned buildings

Kunstverk

Kunstverk

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