Ordskælv

3. December 2016

Youngsters write about poverty in Nordic project

Ordskælv (Wordquake) is a co-Nordic project in which socially vulnerable youngsters write about poverty and social exclusion. Four young budding Greenlandic writers participate in the project. Ordskælv Greenland started in November 2015 when all eight Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, The Faroe Islands and Åland) each initiated their own Ordskælv project. In Greenland, the project is overseen by NAPA – The Nordic Institute in Greenland.

“The main focus of the project is to raise awareness about poverty and social exclusion. Accessibility to cultural means of expression and cultural arenas is in fact a question of democracy  : whose voices are heard and whose realities are described ? In this context, Ordskælv is an important project – for NAPA and for Greenland”, says NAPA managing director, Mats Bjerde.

The concept

Ordskælv was conceived by the Danish non-profit publishing company ‘Hygge Factory’, whose focal area is to give more youngsters the opportunity to creatively express their thoughts and feelings on tough subjects.

Project manager, Nina Paninnguaq Skydsbjerg Jacobsen tells about the project : “In close cooperation with NAPA and a project group with members from the Central Library of Greenland, the residential institution AJA, The Greenlandic Writer’s Association and the children’s rights instituion MIO, I was able to find four brave young people with very different stories to tell about poverty and social exclusion. Throughout the project and the process of writing, Greenlandic writer Sørine Steenholdt mentored the youngsters and tried to help them find the essence of their own story.”

The four young Greenlanders are :

  • Aputsiaq Brandt
  • Justus Larsen
  • Manumina Jensen Poulsen
  • Paninnguaq Heilmann

The process

During the project, the Greenlandic youngsters has participated in several workshops – two workshops in Greenland to get some literary devices and start writing their short stories, and one workshop on the Swedish island Biskops Arnö to meet their Nordic co-writers and finish their writing. All the short stories are written in each writer’s first language and then translated into English.

“It has been such an inspiration to follow this process and to experience the time and energy, that was put into the writing and the courage shown in sharing these stories – because it’s heavy stuff. Poverty is a tabu in itself and that is why we try to articulate the issues of the matter in this project. Poverty is not always about lack of money but can also relate to emotions – such as loneliness – as put by one of our young writers”, Nina explains.

Cooperation

Ordskælv Greenland is funded by NAPA – The Nordic Institute in Greenland, Greenland Government Lottery Fund, Sermeq Fonden and NunaFonden. The youngsters have acquired relevant literate devices through different workshops and been coached by : the Icelandic writer Thorarinn Leifsson; singer and teacher Nina K. Jørgensen; writer Niviaq Korneliussen; teambuilding expert Lasse Nymand Petersen and entrepreneur / journalist Maren Louise Poulsen Kristensen.

The short stories will be illustrated by four Greenlandic artists – Julie Edel Hardenberg; Bolatta Silis Høegh; Sissi Møller & amp; Gukka Nuka Wilsen Møller – who have all been happy to donate their works to the project.

Book release

All the short stories are part real-life, part fiction and are based on true events from the youngsters’ own lives. They will be released as a ‘co-Nordic’ anthology with a volume for each country, written in both the original language and in English. The main release will held be in Finland in November 2016 where all participants of the project will be present and specifically for the Greenlandic youngsters, NAPA will arrange for a release event in Nuuk the first weekend of December.

For more information, please contact :

Project manager Nina Paninnguaq Skydsbjerg Jacobsen – paninoir@gmail.com