(When graduating from RCNUWC, I moved abroad to educate myself as an artist. Since, I have lived and worked in the European cities of art, like Berlin, Glasgow, Reykjavik. The most important place may have been Fjaler: NKD – a pioneer of art-centres; uniquely built to host artists. Fjaler, a space for contemplation and come back to the roots.. To remember the important years. The RCNUWC – years.)

Revisiting Fjaler with the “Bard’s Licence”

NKD - Nordisk Kunstnarsenter in Dale

NKD – Nordisk Kunstnarsenter in Dale

Friend: You’re leaving us?
Me: Yeah. I know. Short silence. But hey. I am going to United World College.
Friend: Cool. Where?
Me: Fjaler.
Friend: Cooool! In what country is Fjaler?

The year is 1995 and the dialogue is in Norwegian. My friend and I hang out on the docks of Kristiansund, Møre and Romsdal – the neighbouring county to Sogn og Fjordane. But I cannot answer my friend. Why will a super college open there?

Twenty years later, I tell my employer that I am leaving the office for a month. I am given a commission as an author, at Nordisk Kunstnarsenter Dale.

Me: But hey. I will be operative. Skype, video-seminars … you know. I am not going to Gokk.
Employer: Hum. You are going to Germany?
Me: No, I said Fjaler! United World College. Recognition from Employer, The theatre festival! Further recognition. Ingolfur Arnarsson, the Iceland-settler. the Viking!

Aha! says my employer. Now we are speaking. Fjaler is the home of the courageous pioneers! Indeed, I say, post-fixing “Viking” to Fjaler: Fjaler is an art-viking, education-viking, a Viking of transcending visions. My employer is convinced. In January 2016 I travel back to Fjaler to write the history of Nordisk Kunstnarsenter Dale. Naturally, it involves the history of RCNUWC.

Funding UWC and NKD took initiative, generosity, strength to pursue ideas and convictions. Lobbying, planning, financing and building. The processes overlap. The stories resemble. The short version: The right people were at the right places. Fjaler became the place to be for informed, internationally orientated, modern and forward-thinking people.

(This short-story is written under “Skaldaløyve”. “Skaldaløyve” is a term dating back to Viking-times, and is a method of writing. “Skaldeløyve” – the Bard’s licence – can be given an author of non-fiction. It allows some exaggeration or dramatizing.)

Mette Karlsvik

For profiles and news of other students and alumni, click here.