QSPA and Artica Svalbard

HM Queen Sonja inagurating the printing press at the Artica Svalbard work shop, March 2017

HM Queen Sonja inagurating the printing press at the Artica Svalbard work shop, March 2017
Photo: Olav T. Søla

The establishment of Artica Svalbard (November, 2016) reflects a recognition that there is an urgency related to Polar regions due to climate change, and a recognition that the arts are a (bi-)polar force capable of creating and discovering awareness, knowledge and debate about this urgency.

Svalbard is Norway’s northernmost region, and one of the northernmost land-areas in the world. Here, climate change is more visible than any other place in the world, leading to deep irreversible changes that are significant to the global world in which we live, affecting the environmental and political challenges we are facing collectively – both internationally and within the circumpolar regions.
Longyearbyen, where Artica Svalbard is located, is a coal mining community;
a community facing increased tourism; and a community where the world’s northernmost tertiary education institution is producing cutting-edge knowledge about the Arctic and climate change. This society is a microcosm of global challenges with respect to both changing climates and industries, and Artica will use its unique position in both time and space to promote discussions and thinking about the Arctic.

QSPA is one of the key partners to Artica Svalbard, together with Norwegian PEN and Office for Contemporary Art Norway/ OCA. The three key partners nominate artists for an artist-in-residency program, and also play an active role in other projects as part of Artica’s program, related to their field of expertise.


  • Artica Residency Programme: Artica Svalbard is aiming to become the world’s foremost trans-artistic Residency Programme. With the participation of engaged international artists from all fields,
    Artica stimulates a wider exchange of critical and philosophical ideas, research and artistic expressions, across the circumpolar regions and internationally.
  • Artica Global: Artica Listens. Once a year, Artica Svalbard will host one of the Arctic’s most significant art events, highlighting urgent issues related to the polar regions and their global influence. Artica Writings is a curated series of disparate texts relating to the Arctic which is published throughout the year. The series aims to influence critical thinking as well as sharing knowledge on urgent issues related to the Arctic.
  • Artica Local: Artica Svalbard is an integral part of Longyearbyen´s society. Artica shall provide a space for forward thinking, interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. Artica aims to be a leading force in shaping the future of Longyearbyen.

Present / Artica (articasvalbard.no)