Shooting Norway’s Future Portrait

“We have over three thousand billion NOK in the oil fund, and every ten minutes, three million more of oil money flows into the saving account of tomorrow's Norwegians; Ola, Kari and Muhammad Nordmann. The latter tops the list of the capital's most popular boys' name for the fourth consecutive year. Half of the country's population is on Facebook, while a third of the farmers are most likely to park their tractor in 2030.”

This striking prediction about Norway's future is the inspiration for the project “Norway Next” by 40 graduating students at Bilder Nordic School of Photography in Oslo. They decided to direct their cameras towards Norway to create reflection on this new Norway from different aspects of society. They describe their aim as to play a role in the defining of Norway's future and to share their thoughts, concerns and hopes.

Norway Next is a vibrant production that ends in late May, followed by the graduation exhibition, an exciting cross between classic photography and new media productions. One of the most striking photograph concepts of the ongoing project is Fery Nourkami's national portrait in front of the Norwegian royal family's palace.

For Nourkami's photograph, Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and people from 76 nationalities lined up to be photographed. The young photographer is inspired with this idea when she sees a NAV poster that depicted very few people from other nationalities scattered among hundreds of white people standing with a sign "This is Norway".

– “I wanted to show that this is not Norway and how many nationalities we actually have in Norway,” says Fery Nourkami, who spent six weeks to organize the gathering by visiting hundreds of coffee shops, grocery stores and trying to convince random people on buses to come for a photo shoot.

At the beginning, she started to lose hope as many people discouraged, saying that it was an impossible project to implement, but at the end, she managed to gather so many people. Nourkami also endeavored to convince the Norwegian King to be in the photograph to represent Norway, however, she could not get a positive reply. Nevertheless, Crown Prince Haakon Magnus appeared during the day of shooting in a surprising way and completed the picture of Norway Next.

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