The High North Tour 2021: What Happens to Cultural Entrepreneurs during the Pandemic?

Researcher Heidi Angell Strøm fears the consequences of culture workers having had to find other jobs during the pandemic. (Photo: Arne O. Holm)

Harstad: “I am first and foremost worried about those who now leave the cultural sector”, says PhD Candidate Heidi Angell Strøm at UiT Harstad. What was meant to be a research project on cultural entrepreneurs in the Arctic instead became a study in how the pandemic has hit culture in the High North.

“Here in the High North, we are at the mercy of those who have prioritized culture. What happens in the cultural sector when so many culture workers have left the sector and rather taken on other jobs”, Angell Strøm asks.

“Theory says that you as a cultural entrepreneur has to be a kind of managing octopus. You have to be able to invent, manage a company and build networks at the same time. This was what I was meant to test”, Angell Strøm says.

“My hypothesis is that culture workers in the High North have to be even better than theory indicates, as they are so far away from their market.”

The High North Tour 2021: Harstad.
The High North Tour 2021 er her: Harstad. (Illustrasjon: Iris Ørnhaug/Nord universitet)
The HIgh North Tour is here: Harstad. (Illustration: Iris Ørnhaug/Nord University)

They want to live in the North

Out of all the culture workers Heidi Angell Strøm has interviewed during her field work so far, many have been further south or abroad for a period.

“Then, they return. They have decided to work in art and culture, and they want to live up north.”

“Fortunately, there is an Arctic market for artists. We who live here, get to benefit from that.”

Watch the whole interview with PhD Candidate Heidi Angell Strøm on top of this page. (English subtitles available.)

Follow the High North Tour 2021

This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.