Two poets started Norway’s two first political parties. I’m restarting one of them.
To get everyone on the same page, can you briefly tell us what Intelligenspartiet is?
Intelligenspartiet is a new political party that is demanding a change in the European constitution, presented in Austria in May, 2018. The following text concerns only the specific Norwegian context, but there are many similarities with the EU-project. The change we are asking for is to give voting rights to those non-citizens who can vote in local elections but not in national elections. The paragraph we intend to change in Grunnloven is one of the paragraphs that has been changed the most historically. Groups of the population without voting rights have always had to fight hard for their rights, but it is a process that tends is to go in an inclusive and logical direction.
The party name, Intelligenspartiet, comes from an old Norwegian political party from the 1830’s. This party was in opposition to Patriotene, two parties that were started by two poets and would later come to establish Norways two first official political parties, Venstre and Høyre.
Why is letting 11% of the population without Norwegian citizenship vote important, or even a legitimate proposition at all? What makes you believe that the votes from this demographic will possibly make a sea change in the next election result?
First of all, this 11% is included in the division of power in Norway. We are counted when it comes to dividing mandates across the country, this is done by calculating population and geographic size. Non-citizens over 18 are counted when dividing mandates in national elections, so the 11% does effect the outcome and division of power in Norway without having the right to have a say in what happens in that process. This is a democratic problem.
Secondly, we need a strong voice against the increase of anti-immigration rhetoric and fear mongering that is being used to manipulate the outcomes of elections in Norway and of course across the world. Far right opportunists are trying to scare people with an idea that we live in a changing world that is becoming increasingly dangerous and other less extreme and more mainstream political agendas are utilising these tactics as well. It is obvious that breeding fear and hate works in the fight for political power so we need a strong counter argument, and strength comes in the form of votes. Yes, the world is changing, but we need to be fighting with that change not against it.
Which exact part of grunnloven you are referring to, when you claimed that you cannot prohibit someone from participating in the democratic process?
This is an important question but it’s not in the constitution that you will find this law, you’ll find it in the voting laws – described in chapter 9 paragraph 5 of Lov om valg til Stortinget (valgloven). This is an important democratic principle that basically says that it is not the people at the voting booths who decide if you have the right to vote or not but rather valgstyret. This means that your vote will be registered regardless of your voting rights status and your name is put in to the system, thereby creating a digital trace of your participation and the creation of statistics that can be extracted. It should be mentioned that when Norway had its referendum to separate from Sweden in 1905, only men had the right to vote. About 300 000 men voted at that time, however, women did participate in that referendum unofficially and ended up collecting a quarter of a million signatures, a process that was very important in leading to Norway being the first independent country in the world to give women both voting rights and rights to run for office in 1913. Finland was before Norway but wasn’t independent in that sense since they belonged to Russia and New Zealand and Australia were also well ahead of Norway but only allowed women the right to vote, not to run for office. So, with this in mind I am going to go out on a limb here and say that Intelligenspartiet is going to make Norway the first country in the world to give non-citizens voting rights in national elections.
Medlem av UKS
Planlagte prosjekter og utstillinger
Intelligenspartiet, Steirischer Herbst, Graz (AUT)
Neste terrorangrep, Oslo (NO)
European Attraction Ltd Tours. Le CAP, Centre D’Art Plastiques, Lyon (FR)
1996-2000 Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, (CA).
The Intelligence Party, Steirischer Herbst, Graz (AUT)
European Attraction Ltd Tours, Le CAP, Centre D’Art Plastiques, Lyon (FR)
Milk Bar, National Center for Contemporary Art, Arsenal, Nizhny Novgorod (RU)
“Radio Kamina”, Lomé, (TG)
“Relax, Hell is a Pretty Chill Place”, Demon’s Mouth, Lisbon (PT).
“European Attraction Limited” Performa 15, New York (US).
“European Attraction Limited” Statens Konstråd, Malmö (SE)
“From What You Can’t Protect Yourself” Alt_Cph, Copenhagen (DK).
“From What You Can’t Protect Yourself” Spikersuppe Sound Gallery, Oslo (NO).
“Step Up, Stoop Low and Leave Your Dignity Outside” Pluriversale I, Reports to an Academy (in collaboration with Cassius Fadlabi), Akademie der Künste der Welt, Cologne (DE).
“Kongolandsbyen” European Attraction Limited, (in collaboration with Cassius Fadlabi) Frognerparken, Oslo (NO).
“Astroturfing” Genres of Scholarly Knowledge Production, Astroturfing knowledge HUMlab, Umeå University, Umeå (SE).
“People on Exhibition”, conference (in collaboration with Cassius Fadlabi) Tromsø Academy of the Arts, Tromsø (NO).
“European Attraction Limited” (in collaboration with Cassius Fadlabi) Chart Art Fair, Copenhagen (DK).
“Forensics of Attraction”, Bergen Assembly (in collaboration with Cassius Fadlabi), Bergen (NO).
“100%”, One Night Only Gallery, Oslo (NO).
“International Conference about European Attraction Limited”, Oslos Militære Samfund, Oslo (NO).
“From What You Can’t Protect Yourself”, Christian Sleepover, Residency + exhibition 0047, Oslo (NO).
“From What You Can’t Protect Yourself” Kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga (LV).
“Sol LeWitt n´Shit” The Brucennial, New York, (US).
“Recurring Individual Conversations”, UKS, Oslo (NO).
“Broadcast Through a Brother” (in collaboration with Steven Cuzner and Sarah Kim), Based in berlin, Berlin (DE).
“Donate” nobelprize.no, a Bergman and Salinas online production.
“Broadcast Through a Brother” (in collaboration with Steven Cuzner and Sarah Kim), Basso, Berlin (DE).
“Broadcast Through a Brother” (in collaboration with Steven Cuzner and Sarah Kim), Grimmuseum, Berlin (DE).
“What Happens in the Forest Stays in the Forest”, The Parallel Action, Stange (NO).
“Trying to Quit”, Podium, Oslo (NO).
“Kool-Aid for Drowning Fish” Western Front Magazine. Vancouver (CA).
“The Promise”, Vita Kuben, Umeå (SE).
“The Promise”, Galleri Addo, Malmö (SE).
“Common Cold”, Symbiosis, IAO Gallery, Oklahoma City (US).
“Detecting Common Cold in Opera”, MADE Norrlandsoperan, Umeå (SE).
“Sverige Är Bäst i Sverige”, Verkligheten, Umeå (SE).
“Just Like Me”, Night Classes, Bildmuseet, Umeå (SE).
2015 – Chair of the Board, Fellesverkstedet, Oslo (NO).
2016 – Fagutvalgsmedlem, Rom for Kunst, Kulturrådet Oslo (NO).
2017 – 1 year working grant BKV, Norway (NO).
2016 – 1 year working grant BKV, Norway (NO).
2015 – 1 year working grant BKV, Norway (NO).
2014 – 1 year working grant BKV, Norway (NO).
2012 – 1 year working grant BKV, Norway (NO).
2010 – 2 year working grant, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Sweden (SE).