Murman – the coast of hope

This website is part of the exhibition ”Murman – the coast of hope. The history of colonization 1860 – 1940”, which opened on July 1st 2012 at Ekkerøy, Vadsø. The exhibition will later be shown in Vardø, Kirkenes, Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and in Finland.

The exhibition consists of :

  • 10 posters telling the history chronologically and thematically in pictures, short texts and maps. The posters are produced in Russian, Finnish and Norwegian.
  • A book in English that serves both as an exhibition catalogue and a collection of articles.
    The book consists of:
  • 11 articles, written by representatives from the participating institutions. The articles deal with different aspects of the colonization, life on the Murman Coast and the impact of politics on the colonists.
  • An English version of the posters
  • The web exhibition presents more photographs, articles, clips from newspapers and a film. Here we present additional material not found in the exhibition posters or book. The texts in the web exhibition are for the time being presented in the language they are written in. They will later be translated into English.

Why the exhibition “Murman – the coast of hope”?
When the borders were reopened in 1991, the history of the Kola Norwegians and Kola Finns became a subject of new public interest. Research programmes were initiated, and articles and TV programmes were made. However, migration to Kola is still a relatively little known chapter in the region’s history. The aim of this exhibition is to enable the subject to reach a wider audience.

Further we wish to show that the bonds between people in the northern parts of Russia, Finland and Norway were very close up until the 1920s. We hope, in light of the increasing commitment to the Barents cooperation, that this project will provide an important contribution to recreating the earlier good relations that existed between the northern regions of Russia, Finland and Norway.

Varanger museum initiated the project, and has worked in partnership with museums and research institutions in Russia and Finland in developing it.  We have benefited from earlier research and Russian – Norwegian – Finnish cooperation. Several of our partners have worked with this theme over a long period of time.

The project was developed by a working group, with representatives from the three countries, which met a number of times in the course of the development phase. The collaboration has been successful, and we would be happy to work on similar projects in the future.

Varanger Museum’s partners in the project:
Murmansk museum of regional studies, Murmansk,
Northern  (Arctic) Federal University, Arkhangelsk
Institute of Ecological Problems in the North
Finland’s National Archive, Helsinki
The Provincial museum of Lapland, Rovaniemi
University of Tromsø. Department of History and Religious Studies
Arkhangelsk museum of regional studies

The project is supported by:
The Norwegian Barents Secretariat
Arts Council Norway
The project is part of the cooperation agreement between Murmansk oblast og Finnmark county administration.

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