Transnordania Referendum

  • December 2017

As part of Platform Nord 2017, I was invited by the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Agder (Norway) to lead a two-day workshop with MA Fine Art students on the documentation and dissemination of art projects, and then to supervise them as they take on the role of the Ministry of Propaganda for the independence referendum of the fictitious Transnordania state.

The workshop

The workshop started with a presentation showcasing projects and commissions I worked on and different approaches to narrate stories through documentation and curating content for online dissemination.

Following that, and inspired by Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth’s film The Five Obstructions, the students were given different assignments through a random draw. After fulfilling their assignments, the students had to present their work to the group and the assignments were developed further by adding obstructions and the students spent the second day working on the new assignments and curating and installing an exhibition of the work.

The Referendum

Platform Nord workshop kicked off with a presentation on Propaganda led by Michale Prince, a specialist on the subject amongst many others, and myself to introduce the artists and MA students on the history of Propaganda and what constitutes propaganda and what doesn’t.

Participants in Platform Nord 2017, led by director and artist Morten Traavik, acted as the founder of Transnordania, a three-day nation-building process. While Platform Nord artists were assigned the role of setting out the attributes and unifying structures of Transnordania, such as similar languages, ideology, governance, currency, passport, citizenship, national day, national anthem, etc. While the MA students, a.k.a. The Ministry of Propaganda, were split into two groups: the ‘exiters’ (pro independence) and their opposition, the ‘remainers’. Each group had to develop their campaign (print and online), design posters, slogans and memes, and disseminate the campaign onto the most appropriate channels.

Both sides of the argument in the Ministry of Propaganda produced a couple of print campaigns each which was put up in the old theatre space and an online campaign that was disseminated through social media platforms.

The workshop concluded with a public referendum where visitors took part in by casting their vote on a wall either by dipping their finger in ink and stamping their fingerprint or, for the passionate ones, by pricking their finger with a hygienic blood-test kit and voting with a blood fingerprint.

Platform Nord: Behind the Scene


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