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Queering Nordic Borders – NNAQH Conference in Bergen, Norway

Queering Nordic Borders – the second conference of the Nordic Network for Queer History Archives and Activities (NNAQH) will take place in Bergen on April 20, 2024 (with pre-conference activities and dinner the night before). The conference addresses the arbitrary nature of national borders within the Nordic and Baltic regions. How can we through our practices as archivists, activists and historians question, cross and “queer” those borders?

There will be a pre conference reception and informal dinner on April 19th at 6 pm. Click the link below for a preliminary programme of the conference.

Queering Nordic Borders – the second conference of NNAQH addresses the arbitrary nature of borders within the Nordic and Baltic region, and the consequences for marginalized people, e.g. queer people and indigenous people. The Sámi people have been particularly repressed by colonial practices, and by borders drawn with little consideration of the real lives of people living in the Middle and Northern parts of the Nordic Region.  

At the conference we discuss how queer archives and historians can question the Nordic colonial past. How have assimilation policies shaped queer indigenous lives? And how do we preserve, disseminate and research queer histories? The preservation, dissemination and research of Sámi queer history in particular, will be the topic of one of the sessions. Other questions discussed include how queer history and queer archival practices can “queer” and transgress national borders within the region.


If you are interested in getting your trip reimbursed please send a motivation letter including a budget for travel costs and accommodation by March 1, 2024 the latest, to the following address and enter “Reimbursement” in the subject line. The decisions will be made on March 6 and communicated shortly after. NNAQH can cover the travel expenses of 5-6 participants or organizations up to the amount of 500 euro each.

Please write a short motivation (500 words) on why you would like to participate in the conference in Bergen. Describe how the participation in the Nordic network for queer history activities and archives might benefit queer history activism and archives in your region. Explain in short how you plan to use the experiences from and the knowledge gained at the conference. Include a short description of your previous experience of archive or cultural heritage work, and/or of queer or LGBT+ archive activities; and/or of queer or LGBT+ history activities in general. Do also include your current connections to queer or LGBT+ organizations or activism or to archives or cultural heritage institutions.


Friday April 19th

Location: Skeivt arkiv, The Norwegian Queer Archive, Sydnesplassen 7.  

18.00-21.00: Pre-conference reception with pizza / drinks and tour of The Norwegian Queer Archive.  

Saturday April 20th 

Location: Nygårdsgaten 5 (NG5), which is the building of the administration of the University of Bergen. 

Streaming link: Will be published on the conference page and sent to all the participants.

08.30-09.00: Registration and coffee.

09.00-09.15: Welcome & opening of the conference. Line Førre Grønstad, Trude Færevaag and Pia Laskar. 

09.15-09.50: Opening lecture by Jens Rydström: A Life in the Archives

Jens Rydström shares memories and reflections about archival research in Nordic archives over the past thirty years.

09.50-11.10: Queer archiving and queer history in Norway

Chair: Line Førre Grønstad.   

09.50-10.05: Line Førre Grønstad: The history of The Norwegian Queer Archive (Skeivt arkiv).  

10.05-10.20:  Runar Jordåen: A short introduction to queer archives in Norway

10.20-10.35: Silje Gaupseth: Queering Polar History – queering the Polar Museum in Tromsø.

10.35-10.55: Tone Hellesund: Queer history in Norway: Status, research projects, challenges  

10.55-11.10: Discussion   

11.10-11.30: Break

Coffee and light refreshments. 

11.30-13.00: Queering Sámi history

Chair: Silje Gaupseth.

11.30-11.45: Sara Lindquist: Queering Sápmi – a retrospect

11.45-12.00: Elisabeth Stubberud and Dávvet Bruun-Solbakk : Queering the gákti: Weaving tradition and identity in new ways.

12.00-12.15: Torjer Olsen: Gender and queer perspectives in Sámi research: Gaps and steps forward. (Digital participation.)

12.15-12.30: Anna Linder: Queer Moving History – part 5: Imagine Native – Queer Moving Images from Sápmi. Ongoing project.

12.30-13.00: Panel Discussion 

13.00-14.00: Lunch

Lunch served at the premises. 

14.00-15.20: Crossing Borders: Queer history and archivism beyond the nation state in the Nordic and Baltic regions

Chair: Viktorija Kolbešnikova .  

14.00-14.20: Íris Ellenberger: Queer desires in Danish-Icelandic transnational spaces in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.   

14.20-14.40: Riikka Tavetti (University of Turku). Finnish Queer Histories and Shifting Nordic and Baltic Borders” 

14.40-15.00: Peter Edelberg: Beyond Methodological Nationalism in Scandinavian LGBT+ Activist History: Some Norwegian Examples.

15.00-15.20: Discussion: How can we as queer historians and archivists transgress the nation state in our practices?  

15.20-15.40: Break
15.40-16.30: Summary and final discussion 

Led by Pia Laskar. 

Event’s website here

The conference is supported by NIKK Nordic Information on GenderStiftelsen Fritt Ord and Meltzerfondet.  

NNAQH Conference
How it all started: Panel discussion on queer archives and history 2019 in Gothenburg. From the right: Tone Hellesund (Skeivt arkiv), Sara Edenheim (Historian), Rita Paqvalén (Friends of Queer History), Olov Kriström (QRAB - The Archives and Library of the Queer Movement), Anna Linder (SAQMI - The Swedish Archive for Queer Moving Images). Photo by the moderator of the panel discussion: Pia Laskar (QRAB).