Tang Bar ( seaweed bar ) By Trond Ansten

We are at the second phase of the Witch Trials Project and we just developed a series of workshops and walks between May 19th and 27th 2021 in Tromsø, Norway. The events were organized by Invisibledrum Platform, in collaboration with Kurant and Polar Lab Films.

On Wednesday 19th of May, we host through our Online Journal sONgLineS Dowsers, the Artist Talk & introduction craft paper workshop by Valentina Maleza Valentina is sharing practice and knowledge on conceptual and ritual uses of handmade paper she introduced the practices of Yanchama, Amate paper, Kalimantan Barkcloth, African Barckcloth, the role of women in papermaking, and many others amazing insights on the origins and alchemy of the craft paper! We are looking forward to tomorrow’s workshop! Craft Paper WORKSHOP by Valentina Maleza

We are incredibly grateful to Trond Ansten who accompanied us on a special walk at Sommerøya, Tromsø (North of Norway) on Thursday 20th of May.

Trond taught us about seaweed harvesting and shared valuable knowledge about their properties, political situations involving the sea, history on usage, and how to wade through the water to pick your kelp. Did you know that the Vikings used a lot of seaweed in their diet? And that most kelp contains more protein than meat? Or that one little bite of kelp is enough iodine for two weeks?! We harvested the seaweed towards Valentina Maleza papercraft workshop the following days and picked mostly the weeds that have a larger amount of cellulose in them. We also learned about how to consume seaweed, – which mostly you have to heat treat to eliminate its high iodine, which can be very dangerous for human kidneys. Kelpie, we saw you there down by the shore, we want to know you more- and the stories of the sea and the secrets of Mother Ocean, the origin from where everything emerged. We are on a quest for ancient knowledge and the magical arts, rebond to Nature and step into a new paradigm. Thank you TROND! And many thanks to Marita Isobel Solberg for her assistance. And to the wonderful partakers,- we hope you enjoyed it as much as we.

On Friday 21st we got so inspired! The phytography workshop by Karel Doing organized by Invisibledrum and POLAR FILM LAB. Phytography is a photographic technique that works with the chemicals of plants to develop prints onto photographic paper. It is so lovely because the technique works with nature; with the surrounding environment, such as heat and light, and of course, the plants we chose to use. The mixture is not toxic and you can even use a saltwater fixture! Quite opposite from traditional photographic development, that involves a lot of chemicals. Thank you POLAR FILM LAB and special thanks to Karl Doing who has passed on his knowledge. We also enjoyed the fact that he stressed respect and honoring nature as an integrated part of this praxis. Such as,- never cut the roots- and we would like to add- ask the plants permission to pick it and then, leave you to gift as well if you can. Thank you Karel!

On Saturday Finally the day arrived that we were going to use the kelp we had picked- to craft paper ! Valentina Maleza is a master paper maker. She told us she started to make paper as a reaction to the academy’s lack of teaching this craft- and a way to avoid capitalistic consumption. “Well, an artist needs to know how to make her paper” , she said and since then Valentina is within this beautiful praxis. From boiling the seaweeds (or other plant material you´d use) – to mixing it with recycled paper, blending in with water and fishing it out with your frame- dry off the water, press and then let dry. It is a process, but the paper was surprisingly easy to make and became very beautiful, unique and expressive.Thank you to the participants and special thanks to Kurant for orgonizing this event. Valentina, thank you for gifting us with a knowledge that will stay with us for the rest of our lives!

On Saturday We have the chance to attend the Premiere of the music video “Dear Snow” By Trond Ansten & Marita Isobel Solberg made for MARAS (music band) for the new album WHERE WHALES GO. The premiere was at Verdensteateret Kino. A beautiful visual and sound poem where music and image dance in eternal hypnagogic! We love it!

The Witch Trails research will continue in the Varanger Peninsula in the month of June, with a solstice ceremony by the Steilneset Memorial, on the 21st-22rd of June and in collaboration with Varanger Museum, Finnmark.
Artists involved in the Witch Trails Project are Marita Solberg, Amalia Fonfara, Nazare Soares, Jessica Ullevålseter.
Funders are : Kulturådet, NBK, Fritt Ord and Tromsø Kommune.