Showtimes and Tickets

Kunstfest vol.5: Artivism

20.04.24 kl. 18:00 – 23:59Kunstfest vol.5: ArtivismFredrikstadØstfold Internasjonale TeaterTickets TBA

KunstFest vol. 5: Artivism

With KunstFest vol. 5: Artivism, ØIT and a dream team of international artists invite you to an evening all about art, activism and taking social responsibility in a creative way.

Artivism = art + activism. Artivism could be explained as using art as a protest or to raise awareness about societal challenges, often of global concern. In parallel with declining trust in existing social systems internationally, this form of expression has become increasingly common in recent years.

«This passion has all the ingredients of activism, but is charged with the wild creations of art. Artivism—where edges are pushed, imagination is freed, and a new language emerges altogether.
Eve Ensler

In a globalized world, we face common problems that require common solutions. Creative expressions can both point to what is not working in our way of organizing the world and to alternative ways of thinking. Artivism is about taking social responsibility and engaging with society in a creative way.

At this fifth KunstFest at Østfold International Theatre, you will meet international artists who do just that.

Direct Action Theatre
Serve and Protect – an audiovisual dance performance

Direct Action Theatre
Direct Action Theatre during an action outside the Russian Embassy in Oslo in 2023. Photo: Jan Hustak

Direct Action Theatre (D.A.T.) is an international performance group working in the intersection of art and activism.

Their work ranges from interventions in public space to performances and exhibitions in theatres and galleries. Playing with symbolic values is used as a powerful tool in D.A.T.’s interventions, which often adress current socio-political or environmental issues.

In the series entitled Serve and Protect, which is a variation on the motto of the North American police, D.A.T. uses riot police uniforms as its main visual and symbolic material. By placing the uniforms in absurd or unusual situations, the artists playfully question power relations. The group states that their aim and purpose is to “serve and protect the people, nature, joy, beauty and life itself”.

The performance Serve and Protect shown during KunstFest vol. 5 is a culmination of the series of the same name. Based on D.A.T.’s public interventions, the performance will twist the traditional power roles in society. Working with the energy of violence and protest, the group will touch on themes such as environmental sadness, war, uniformity and mass brutality. But, audiences can expect to see the deeply human behind the uniforms and serious themes.

-You may laugh, get angry or cry: The full experience of being alive on this planet, says D.A.T.

Read more at oit.no/produksjon/direct-action-theatre/
D.A.T. on Instagram: instagram.com/directactiontheatre/

Rosemary Loves A Blackberry

Rosemary Loves a Blackberry is the solo project of artist and activist Diana Burkot: A multigenre project focusing on music, without formal or stylistic limitations.

Burkot (b. 1985) first became known to a Norwegian audience through legendary Pussy Riot . From 2011, the art collective caused a furor both in and outside Russia with their guerrilla performances. Dressed as feminist superheroes in colourful balaclavas, they loudly protested against reactionary leaders, Putin’s ties to the Russian Orthodox Church, and later against Trump. Since then, the collective has somewhat changed genre, but is still very much active.

In parallel, Burkot has established herself as a solo artist with an impressive track record, both musically and academically. As well as a bachelor’s degrees in public relations and jazz, she has completed a master’s degree in contemporary art with an emphasis on multimedia at the University of Moscow, and is currently working on a European master’s degree in music at the University of Reykjavik. In 2023 she was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters at the University of Kent.

Rosemary Loves a Blackberry’s fourth album, +4, was released in February 2022 and is described as “A hybrid of electronics and academic instruments – cello, violin, piano, flute, trumpet. […] a soundtrack to creepy but dreamy fairytail” (bandcomp.com).


Thomas Østbye

Thomas Østbye
Filmmaker Thomas Østbye

Thomas is a documentary and art filmmaker who has been nominated for and won numerous Norwegian and international awards.

He runs his own production company, PlymSerafin, and is known for original documentaries that deal with contemporary political dilemmas. In 2021, he premiered Enhver har rett til, which provides a unique insight into Norway’s first climate lawsuit. Other films include Imagining Emanuel, HUMAN and In your dreams, which have been purchased by the Arts Council of Norway and screened at NRK and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

In addition to documentary film, Thomas works with photography and installation art. He has worked with performing arts institutions on several occasions, including De elendige, a co-production between Teater Innlandet and Artilleriet Produksjoner in 2018. During the corona lockdown in 2020-2021, he produced Tyngde – a film poem, later released in revised versions as Tyngde and Første stemme, in collaboration with Østfold International Theatre.


Artists and contributors

Diana Burkot
Thomas Østbye
Jan Hajdelak Husták
Nela H. Kornetová
Ellen Røhr-Staff
Arnt Christian Teigen
Per Magnus Barlaug
Øystein Elle
Producer: Malin Østli
Poster: Vegar Bakken, Page Black

Sponsored by: Direct Action Theatre har received support from T.I.T.S. Performance Group, Projektor Pøblene, Grenland Friteater, Østfold International Teater, Nová Síť, EEA Grants, Kulturrådet, Kulturkontakt Nord, Performing Arts Hub Norway.