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New Nordic Narratives – changing our future story landscape 

New Nordic Narratives is a hands-on, think-tank-inspired seminar, research and development process designed to solidify new networks and bring sustainable change by identifying the best actions and methods to rethink and transform key issues of representation, gender equality and sustainability across the Nordic film- & tv industry landscape.  

With New Nordic Narratives, the first steps have been taken towards creating new norms, new cultures, and new processes and methods within the existing culture of film and TV production in the Nordic region. The focus has been on the story and script development process, from idea to when the project is fully funded and ready to start the production process. Work on sustainability and diversity must start early if it is to have a better chance of surviving the funding process and making it to the screen. Knowledge and tools on sustainability, gender and diversity have stimulated ideas and opened up participants’ views on their own material, while the funding process was seen as a major obstacle to artistic freedom.

Increase the gender equality in Nordic film

The lack of gender equality in the Nordic film industry persists. Despite ambitious efforts to the contrary, films made by men continue to dominate both at the cinema and on TV.

This project aimed to look closer at the gender equality in the production of Swedish, Danish and Icelandic films. The results were presented and discussed in connection with seminars and outreach activities on gender equality in Nordic film.

The project also included a film festival in Stockholm 2–5 March 2017, arranged to show some of the films directed and produced by women that never reach the general public.

Nordic network against sexism and hate speech

People’s open access to online forums, comment fields and debates in social media is generally considered to greatly benefit the democratic dialogue in society. However, the tone can be tough, polarising and insulting, which puts strong pressure on the democratic debate and freedom of expression and affects women’s and men’s access to the public debate in the Nordic region.

This project has establish a new Nordic network focusing on sexism and online hate speech. The network consists of a number of Nordic actors involved in the work for equal treatment in society, including the Danish Institute for Human Rights, the Norwegian Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud and the Icelandic Human Rights Center.

The project has arranged three expert seminars and put together an anthology with a series of recommendations on how the Nordic equality bodies and ombudsman institutions can work to combat sexism and online hate speech.

Women in Nordic film history

In this project, coordinated by Stockholm University, research and memory institutions collaborated in approaching the history of Nordic film cultures with a revisionist perspective. The Swedish Film Institute’s website ‘Nordic Women in Film’ was launched in April 2016 with the explicit aim of ”re-writing the history of moving pictures in the Nordic region from a feminist point of view, beginning in Sweden”.

From the start, the site only featured articles on women in Swedish film, but through this project, where two Swedish institutions (Stockholm University and the Swedish Film Institute) joined forces with Norway’s National Library and the Danish University of Copenhagen, has become a platform for complementing existing accounts of Norwegian and Danish film history.

The website is now Nordic, but has also become more research based with the inclusion of material from researchers within cinematography.

The project has helped distributing knowledge about women’s contribution to the film industry in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The Nordic collaboration has helped bringing forward details easily forgotten in the recording of national film history; among others the site includes information in several different languages and with several different perspecives on female film crew, active in more than one Nordic country. One example is the Danish script writer Harriet Bloch, another one is the Norwegian actress and film maker Liv Ullmann.

WIFT Nordic

WIFT Nordic Network was established during Nordisk Panorama in Malmö, September 2014. The network aims to increase gender equality in Nordic film and television. WIFT Nordic Network wants to empower women to reach their goals, raise awareness of what the gender representation looks like in Nordic film and TV production and change systematic structures that are hindering gender equality. During 2015-2016, WIFT Nordic and collaborators will plan and prepare a seminar, lecture or training initiative on gender equality to be held during a Nordic film festival.

WIFT (Women in Film and Television) is originally an American organization founded in the 1970s as a protest against the male domination in the film industry. Today the organization is present in around forty countries. WIFT Finland, WIFT Sweden, WIFT Norway and WIFT Denmark and WIFT Iceland have 700 members altogether.

Project Ad Watch

The Swedish Women’s Lobby launched its Ad Watch campaign in 2013 as an initiative against sexist advertising. The objective of the campaign is to work against gender-discriminatory advertising practices by having the public act as a ‘watch dog’ and submit examples of sexist advertisements they come across in daily life.

The aim of the project was to introduce the campaign in the other Nordic countries, beginning with Norway and Denmark. The project also included a review of the Nordic laws against sexist advertising, and suggestions for improvements of regulations and implementations were provided to Nordic ministers.

The project participated in Talk Town in Copenhagen in spring 2016. The agenda also included a number of activities for the advertising industry and the public intended to promote knowledge about sexist advertising. A report, “Sexist advertisement in the Nordic countries – An evaluation of regulations and implementation”, was presented in September 2016.

Nordic media activism and journalism

The media – how gender equal are they and what does today’s media-critical activism look like? The organisations behind this project wanted to look closer at these questions by arranging two seminars at the Nordic Forum in Malmö, Sweden in 2014. One seminar focused on journalism and the other on media activism.

The project was based on the Beijing Platform and its aims of increasing the influence and non-stereotypical portrayal of women in media. The organisations hope that the seminars will stimulate the media-critical debate in the Nordic and Baltic regions. Allt är Möjligt Media Watch Group and Feministiskt Perspektiv arranged two seminars at the Nordic Forum together with ENUT, Estland and Stigamot, Iceland. The purpose of the project was to plan and hold the seminars, and also to network to stimulate the media-critical debate in the Nordic and Baltic regions. The activities resulted, amongst other things, in ideas for a Nordic web journal/web agency.

Updated 21 November 2019