UpNorth Festival, Sulitjelma, Norway

UpNorth Festival is a brand new urban art festival that took place in the remote village of Sulitjelma, above the arctic circle in Northern Norway. Sulitjelma initially a Sámi settlement, who bred Reindeer during summers through the end of the 16th century went on to become one of Norway’s biggest mining communities in the 1800’s. At its peak Sulitjelma housed a population of over three thousand people all enjoying the work offered by the mining industry, but after years of cutbacks and eventually a shutdown in 1991, many residents left looking for work elsewhere and the village now only has just over four hundred inhabitants.

Sulitjelma is on the gateway to some of Norway’s and Sweden’s biggest wilderness areas. When the mining company ceased working, they left behind a huge factory area with great walls and the juxtaposition between industry and nature makes it a unique and rather special environment.

The project was curated and organized by Norwegian artist Stein, who lives in the area and has street pieces dotted around Northern Norway, together with Trond Solstad. They invited artists Borondo(ES), Deih(ES), Sabek(ES), M-City(PL), Stein(NO), DotDotDot(NO), StayOne(NO) to join them and to bring the old mining factory to life.

Our friend Urban Photographer, Henrik Haven travelled for ten days to the remote village and working around the clock on his comprehensive coverage of the event, he took five thousand shots in ten days! So enjoy the photos courtesy of Henrik Haven and enjoy his biggest documentation to date. We certainly did…

“The scenery and landscape in the town was truly amazing and all the artists created excellent works! It was not a typical urban environment, so it was a chance for me to experience and document public art in unique surroundings” Henrik Haven

UpNorth gets the thumbs us from us and has excited the local residents living there. The idea of the festival is that it will travel around Northern Norway on different locations each year. Expect some serious urban art against some wonderful natural backdrops to come…



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