Hardangersaken og visualiseringen av et nasjonalt landskap [The Hardanger Issue and the Visualization of a National Landscape] (2012)
Published in Nytt Norsk Tidskift, 03/2012

Carbide Factory in Odda, Hardanger (Postcard), 1908. University of Bergen photography collection (billedsamlingen)

In 2006 Statsnett decided to build a new power line in Hardanger, in Western Norway. With an eye to this highly controversial decision, the article discusses the visual representation of the Hardanger area and the idea of a national landscape. The article argues that the photographic manipulations of glossy tourist photographs from this area used in the resistance to the construction of overhead power lines, helped the controversy to evolve to a national dispute. The protesters took advantage of an image of Norway rooted in the national romanticist period. Few seem to have reflected on the fact that this area, in addition to having a spectacular landscape, has also been heavy industrialized since the early 20th century. While the peasant romanticism still persists as a possible visualization of the area, any suggestion that this region also includes industry and power plants seems to provoke strong emotions. The article argues that images of the industrialized Hardanger are underrepresented in the public eye.