Project Detail: Urban Arctic: Kirkenes


LuganoPhotoDays 2017




Victor Frankowski


Project Info

Urban Arctic: Kirkenes

This project represents, an 18 month, case study into the Norwegian town of Kirkenes. Due to its size, 3500 inhabitants, its geographical positioning, in a remote border region and with an industrialised history the town is seen as an atypical settlement within urban theoritical discourse. Yet its connection to global networks of shipping, tourism and labour migration allow it to show functions usually associated with much larger cities.

The size, economy, multiculturalism and history presents a case study into what changes the town is experiencing and the affect on its future planning and development. The town is currently going through a period of change of industry with Sydvaranger iron ore mine closing down for the second time in twenty years in 2016. Tourism is becoming the central focus with the emergence of winter tourism over the past fifteen years also bringing a focus on cultural capital and cross- border relations.

Through photography and digital-media this section of the project looks at developing a methodological framework focused on the overlapping themes of industry, environment and migration. Allowing for the replication of the research in four other similar sized settlements in different regions of the Arctic. With the aim to return to each of them once every five years, creating a visual archive of the changing urban Arctic localities.