Arctic Action VII

What happened to us…?

September 12-22 - 2024

The Arctic is a vaste and unique area located on the top of the world. It is home to some of the world’s last great wildernesses. The Arctic is known for its remarkable wildlife, adapted and tough vegetation, natural resources, astonishing glacial landscapes and the extraordinary arctic light. Most of this land was first inhabited by an indigenous population, but is today also home for versatile communities spreading through different countries on the northernmost part of Earth.
The Arctic’s average temperature has already risen at a rate of almost three times the global average, warming faster than any other region on Earth, suffering from amplified climate crisis effects while also trying to cope with the impacts from a growing global rush for resources, new shipping routes, and opportunities.
What happens in the Arctic will influence the rest of our planet. Without urgent action to slash greenhouse gas emissions, the world will continue to feel the effects of a warming Arctic. For areas around the world this will mean rising sea levels, changing temperature and precipitation patterns, and more severe weather events.
In the Arctic, changes due to the climate crisis are already causing nature to break down, causing risks to the livelihoods, health and cultural identities of Indigenous and local communities. These changes, many of which are irreversible, will result in a very different Arctic than the one we have been used to.
Svalbard is an archipelago in the high north under Norwegian sovereignty, but the land has never been inhabited by people who have lived since time immemorial, respectfully harvesting from nature. Today there is a Norwegian and a Russian settlement on the biggest island. About 2500 people are living in Longyearbyen, the Norwegian settlement. About one third of these are non Norwegians and are not allowed to vote and do not have the same social rights as the Norwegians even though they have been living here most of their lives. They feel like second and third range citizens. The right to vote was taken from the non Norwegians in 2022. The feeling of being displaced is upon them. The two biggest communities of non Norwegians are the Philippine- and the Thai communities.
Throughout history the world has been served images of the Arctic from the eye of the exotic traveler or the colonialist explorer. There have always been great artists living and working in the Arctic, but they have not been given enough attention and a platform or a market to present their work as they often are considered local.
Arctic Action opens up for global and local artists to work together, sharing their experiences and their knowledge. Only the people living in the north for a long time, feeling the north, seeing the changes and knowing their culture can be trusted as a witness of the North. Only the people who have lived without rights and belonging or with oppression for a long time can talk about uncertainty, fear and displacement and what that does to a person or a community.
Arctic Action VII is a platform for these topics. What happened to us…?
In which direction is the world moving…? The climate crises are the biggest challenge for humanity of all time…, with rising sea levels, changing temperature and precipitation patterns forcing people, communities and cultures to move. Simultaneously we are having wars in Ukraine and in Gaza killing innocent civilians every day.
The seventh edition of Arctic Action will invite artists from the North, but also artists from Ukraine, Palestine and Thailand.
We are really excited and curious to see how the nomadic artists will relate to the concepts of climate, displacement, wilderness, ground, territory and space.
The artists will soon be announced here…
Supported by:

Nordic Culture Fund


Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter

Longyearbyen Lokalstyre

Yaryna Shumska


Yaryna Shumska (Lviv, Ukraine) is a visual artist, performer, co-curator and lecturer. 
She works in the field of performance art, painting, graphics and installation. She explores the concept of presence expressed through the body and the visual sign it creates, presence as a manifestation of the 'here and now', the spoken and unsaid, what we say out loud and what remains between the lines.
Yaryna graduated from the Lviv National Academy of Arts (LNAA). She was a grant holder of the 'Gaude Polonia' scholarship program of the Minister of Culture of Poland, she was shortlisted for the Young Ukrainian Artists Competition “MYXi” (2015), the II Youth Biennale of Contemporary Art of Ukraine (2019). She is an author of solo exhibitions and art projects in Ukraine, Poland, Spain. She participated in numerous exhibitions, performance art festivals, and conferences in Ukraine, Poland, Italy, Norway, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Israel, Japan, Thailand, Canada and USA etc.
She is a co-organizer and co-curator of the 'School of Performance' (2019) in the framework of the International festival 'Days of Art Performance in Lviv', online residency ¨At the place¨ and ¨Performance Archiv. Ukraine¨ (2020). Yaryna Shumska teaches at the Department of Contemporary Art Practices at the Lviv National Academy of Arts (Ukraine).
Her recent works were presented at JDMooney Foundation and FLOW / Out of Site Chicago (USA), the International performance art festival “Opowiesci” (Muzeum Mazowieckie in Płock, Poland), Ukraine!UNMUTED (Kaunas, Lithuania), BIFPA’23 (Belfast, NI/UK).
For more detailed information:

Photo I: Performance Bigscale games. Opowiesci. Plock, Poland. 2023. Documentation M. Drigotas.
Photo II: Group Performance The Ways. Exhibition Ukraine! Unmuted. Kaunas, Lithuania 2022. @Photo Gražvydas Jovaiša.
Photo III: Performance. BIFPA. Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. 2023_©Photo Sandra Johnston

Aor Nopawan Sirivejkul


Aor Nopawan Sirivejkul
Nopawan is a Thai performance artist born and based in Bangkok. She is considered to be one of the most dedicated and active Thai performance artists. She has conceptualized and organized her own performance art event with Mongkol Plienbangchang called ‘blurborders International performance art eXchange’.She use to be a Project manager of ASIATOPIA since 2008 till 2017.

In 2007 she has supported from The Office of contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of culture Thailand to exhibited her work in Poland and in 2012 She has invited to 7d*11A festival in Toronto Canada and in 2013 supported from Bangkok Art and Culture Centre to participate performance art event at Israel and 2016 she has been selected as one of the artists participating in the exchange Bangkok / Quebec in Quebec City Canada from Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.

Her practice on various mediums ranging from photography to performance often contains mixed stories of both beauty and dryness in life and criticizes humanity’s violence and alienating impulses. Also, she was invited to join the international performance art festivals in various countries since 2003 until now.
Photos: Madeleine Franke, Mongkol Plienbangchang, Pancho Sirivejkul

Mongkol Plienbangchang


Mongkol Plienbangchang started to do Performance Art since 1995.He is the director of blurborders International performance art eXchange. He’s an alternative artist who does many art activities about social problems. During the 28 years of his performance art he had been invited from the festival domestic and abroad in Europe and America and also Asia.Such as Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, New York, U.S.A, Quebec Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, India, and Myanmar. About his Performance Art, Mongkol use his body and objects to transform in-between the chaos social – political attitude, Poaching and interaction. In and out of his mindHis Performance similarly the life poetry, as conditions vary in terms of time and space and spectacular decline.
Photos: : Madeline Franke, Chawin Thawanphiyayo, Apisak Ratchakwan

Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson


Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson is a visual, sound and performance artist born in Akureyri, Iceland in 1977. He studied Sonology at the Royal Conservatory Den Haag, Holland in 1997 to 1998, and received MFA at Fachochshcule fur bilende kunst Hannover, Germany in 2004. Sigmarsson exhibits his paintings & drawings internationally but is probably most known for his energetic performances at a wide array of venues. His approach is that of the trembling artist, struggling to make sense and direction out of a creative impulse. Regardless of the medium, there is a continuous search for order and chaos throughout his body of work. With his series of drawings, Sigmarsson distorts the normal, daily life by drawing very common objects in an abstract way.
Photos: Johannes Lothar

Franzisca Siegrist

Norway / Spain

Franzisca Siegrist is a visual artist born in Switzerland in 1984. She was raised in Spain in the Canary Islands and currently resides in Oslo, Norway, while working internationally. She has a Master’s (equivalent) in Fine Arts from the University of La Laguna (2008) and a Master’s in Artistic Production from the Polytechnic University in Valencia (2010). She studied performance art under the Spanish artist Bartolomé Ferrando, and has in addition pursued further performance courses.

She works primarily with performance art and has specialized in this art form for the past 15 years. She also works with installations, objects, photography, and video, often as part of a live performance or through a performative approach. Frequently, the questions she poses through her work are related to issues around identity, belonging, migration, social norms, her background, and everyday life. Through these lenses, she invites the audience to reflect on how these issues impact specific facets of our society. She is interested in contemporary philosophical thought and questions related to how we humans live. At the same time, she is concerned with pure artistic and aesthetic forms of expression, such as abstraction, particularly in the aesthetics created by encountering different objects and the body. As a result, her works often evoke visuals that are both poetic and quite absurd.

She has shown her work in Europe, in Asia and the USA, at museums, galleries and art spaces, as well as artist-run spaces and international festivals, including the Museo La Neomudejar, Madrid (ES); Bærum Kunsthall (NO); Trafo Kunsthall, Asker (NO); Performance Crossings, Prague (CZ); La Regenta Art Center, Las Palmas de Gran Canarias (ES); TEA - Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (ES); Heimdal Kunstforening (NO); Kjerringøy Land Art Biennale 2018 (NO); Høstustillingen - The National Art Exhibition, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (NO); UP-ON Festival, Sichuan University Art Museum, Chengdu (CN); Østlandsutstillingen - Annual East Norway Exhibition, Østfold Art Center, Fredrikstad (NO); Museo Vostell Malpartida (ES); NOosphere Arts, NYC (USA); Galeria Raczej, Poznan (PL); Le Generateur, Paris (FR); Grace Exhibition Space, NYC (USA) and Gallery Block B (Singapore).
Photos: Andris Søndrol Visdal and Franzisca Siegrist

Raeda Saadeh


Sa’adeh was born in Umm al-Fahm in 1977. She received her BFA and MFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. In 2015, Al-Monitor considered her among 50 people shaping the culture of the Middle East. She has been awarded the bronze Chimera at ICASTICA the first International Arezzo Biennial of Art (2013); and the “Young Artist of the Year” prize by the AM Qattan Foundation, Ramallah (2000). 
Her work is in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Sharjah Art Museum, Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain de Lorraine, Metz, France; and Magasin 3 Contemporary Art Museum, Stockholm, Sweden; Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France. Her work is mainly in photography, performance, video and installation, where Sa’adeh uses her body as the core subject of most of her work. She describes her themes as such: “In my artwork, the women I represent looks towards her future with a smile despite all struggles she may endure.
Living in Jerusalem, Sa’adeh has extensively exhibited her work internationally, including at the European Parliament, the GEMAK Museum, The Hague, the House of World Culture, the Sydney Biennial, the Sharjah Biennial, as well as at exhibitions in Austria, France, Denmark, and others.
I create work motivated by my being a Palestinian woman; for me, art can be an emancipatory response to a society often defined by patriarchal, traditional and religious conflict. My work raises questions about the building of cultural foundations and societal narratives; particularly a society that is under Occupation and one impacted by a utilitarian expectation of its members. Burdened by a constantly evolving history, such society is building its own history, in addition to building its popular revolutionary mythology. My work relates to a civilian, feminine and Palestinian reading of such circumstances in the globalized, cultural network of connected mythological, neo-historic narratives.
The circumstances we face as Palestinians, and the privilege of my education have brought me to the realization that art and culture have to be actively and locally developed by the people who experience the daily life and struggle, so that they can play a decisive part in the creation of their own national narrative and future outcomes - the state and its history.

Benedikte Esperi


Benedikte Esperi is a performance artist, choreographer, film maker, researcher, producer and curator based in Sweden. She employs her body as a tool to expose and reveal structural violence and oppressed bodies in our society, both in a national and in an international context. She performs in a variety of venues, such as public sites, galleries, theatres, festivals and elsewhere, encountering each sites for which intentions and people nurture her choices and actions with the body being both an object and a subject, mediating current topics. Her works range from solo, co-lab and community art within the genres performance/live art, installations, dance for screen and choreography. Esperi states how her artistic practice and research formulates an attempt to capture the instant moment and the essentials of a present through choreography and camcorder.
Esperi has presented her work at festivals and events globally.
Photos: Chuyia Chia,Christian Bevern.


The idea of the project is to create a sustainable and innovative event showcasing major international artists representing different tendencies in performance art. In the first edition of the festival we decided to host one artist at the time for between 7 and 10 days. To give time to the artist to come closer to the environment, to better understand it, feel it and work in it. Then we wanted to produce a 7-10 days festival where all artists collectively were invited for a certain period of time. Maybe they as a group working together better will understand the landscape and understand their challenges, how to work with the unique nature and animal life, the stillness and silence conveyed, as well as the societal structure of the small settlements. For the seventh edition of Arctic Action we want to invite eight artists from the North and elsewhere to tell their stories.


Our objective of Arctic Action is to profile it as an innovative and high quality event of live art on the international contemporary art scene and highlight its natural core themes, the relationship between man and nature and environmental protection.
It is our hope that the art works produced in the exceptional natural environment of Svalbard will stimulate a greater awareness on the fragility of our planet.


The curator of Arctic Action is Svalbard native, Stein Henningsen, who has an extensive network on the international scene of live art. Having been active internationally producing work in Italy, France, China, USA, Canada, Czeck Republic, Ukraine, Germany, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and of course Norway, Henningsen has an established position on the contemporary live art scene.

Our Vision

Arctic Action is a different international live event focusing on the artists working within an ecological approach. Moreover, discussing issues on the relationship of sustainable development and its relation to art, as well as art’s relation to scientific research on the environment.


Through its specific location, Arctic Action will in a natural way and quite probably through the artists work highlight global environmental issues.
Being a protected ecologic zone Svalbard is a natural example of a sustainable future. Most issues related to our planets survival and sustainability is inter-connected with Svalbard in one way or another, exemplified by the Global Seed Vault. A performance art event in this specific location can be exemplary in highlighting these vital issues.
Sometimes an image can speak more than a 1000 words, and we believe that the images created at Arctic Action will do that. Integrating the human action and its surrounding environment. Although the awareness on these global issues for a sustainable future are rising around the world, we believe that Arctic Action through its production of convincing artist images will be able to strengthen and support this development.


Org. No 914 901 774
Org name:

Contact address:
c/o Stein Henningsen
P. O. Box 732

+47 99582558


Nordic Culture Fund

Longyearbyen Lokalstyre, Korkpenger