Janne Robberstad

Welcome to my site! I work as an eco-designer, an artist, as a teacher and as a researcher, and creating, or ARTING as I prefer, makes me happy! This is both a portfolio of things I´ve made and a blog meant to inspire.

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The Peace Festival

By spotogspindel | April 22, 2015

The students at Bømlo Folk High School arrange a Peace-festival every year. This is the 19th year, and this year´s theme is “Refugees”.  1237.orig.18dbef00051fbc832dd8767111b45d96

Bømlo Folk High School is the school I thought at for 13 years, so naturally it´s close to my heart. I have so many wonderful memories from this place, moments with the students, and with my colleagues, many of them dear friends still. I´ve learned so much here!

But I was going to tell you about the Festival. The very first festival was arranged in 1996 and was part of a theatre-project, a staging of the musical HAIR, which I was the production manager of. Back at work, I argued strongly for the school to take over the idea, and make it an annual thing, as I thought it would be a great way for the students to  – learn more about war and peace,  and all the issues related to it-  and to learn practically how to make a big arrangement by simply doing it. We had a different focus every year, but the main theme remained the same.

(What is peace by the way? Is it a calm and passive state of non-conflict? I think not. I think it is a very active state or will. You have to not only want it, but work actively for it. It is not a constant, and it needs to be continuously reviewed, to make sure it is a good as it can be and is not threatened by conflicts.)

The festival took on a form of two-day happening. First day, schools and kindergartens come and participate in different activities. Second day is open for the public, and filled with interesting talks, exhibitions, discussions, lectures… and it all ends with a big concert.

Even though it´s been almost 8 years since I left the school, this is the one trace I am very proud to have left behind, the introduction of the Peace Festival.

So now, 8 years later, when I am asked to show some of my art at an exhibition there, of course I had to come!


The theme was as mentioned “People fleeing” or “Refugees”, and I found it very difficult to make art around this sad theme. But then I thought of what it would be if it was me. What if I had to flee and leave everything behind. And with this in mind I made three pictures called “My life without me”. All freestyle machine-embroidered on linen.

When you look at the news these days, I am grateful that every year 80 ordinary, young people work intensely with this theme, bringing awareness to themselves and the people around them.

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