Pikene på Broen is a collective of curators and producers based in the northeastern Norwegian town of Kirkenes. Located 11km from the Russian border and 35km from the Finish border, the town of Kirkenes is ideally placed for cross-border cooperation and cultural exchange in the Arctic. Pikene på Broen was established in 1996 and has spent the past 20 years realising large and small scale cultural projects. They term them ‘border-crossing exercises’ and thus provide new perspectives on the north whilst initiating discussions on themes relevant to the Barents Region.
The Barents Spektakel is Pikene på Broen’s largest event each year and builds cultural bridges across real and imaginary borderlines. The festival is best described as a cultural-political cocktail with contemporary art and music, theatre and performance, literature and architecture, seminars and debates as its ingredients – all spiced with current issues related to the Barents Region and the High North in general. The festival first started in 2004 and each February explodes to life as the long polar night comes to an end.
Hosted by Pikene på Broen, the BAR International artist-in-residency program is open for artists of all genres along with musicians, architects, researchers and curators who are interested in exploring the Barents borderland in transition – an area which is a gateway to Russia, a crossroad for political decisions in the Arctic and a laboratory for creative solutions to economic, cultural and social challenges in the border region.