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Tips from the locals: Lars Magne Andreassen

Lars Magne is director of the Árran Lule Sami Centre in the village of Drag in Tysfjord. With a heart for Sami culture and identity, he has worked there for nine years. He wants to promote the region’s many excellent museums.

2020-01-1710:21 Otelie Knædal

Foto: Martin Losvik

1. What is your coolest cultural experience in Salten?

To me, cultural experiences are not just something that happens on a stage or in a concert hall. It’s hard to describe the feeling of cultural belonging and pride I had the day I saw a road sign with the Sami name had been put up where I live. The Sami culture has been hidden for so long so to me things like this have the greatest cultural significance. It makes me feel like a whole human being. My greatest cultural experience in Salten was the Mihá concert, which we arranged in 2018 in honour of those who broke their silence about sexual abuse. Rarely has a cultural event had greater significance.

2. What are your best cultural tips?

I want to talk up the museums in Salten. The sections of Nordlandsmuseet and Museum Nord include everything from trading posts, folk museums, church sites and crofter’s farms to mining museums, war memorials and piers. Don’t forget the Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodø, Nordland National Park Centre in Saltdal and the Sami sites Dållågadden and Duoddara Rafe in Beiarn. If you drive from Bodø or on the E6, you will find a huge and diverse range of museum experiences. In North Salten, I recommend visiting the Hamsun Centre and Árran and exploring all the galleries, cafés and the beautiful nature and cultural landscape.

3. Why should people experience the Salten region?

Salten is a miniature version of Northern Norway with everything from islands and fjords to glaciers and high mountains. It has fewer tourists than Lofoten but is perhaps even more beautiful. The rich and diverse cultural landscape is characterised by thousands of years of human activity. Salten is also a very modern cultural area. I’m thinking about all the festivals, professional actors and the urban life in Bodø. As capital of culture in 2024, Bodø will be a natural centre in the years to come. Árran is also part of this and will contribute by establishing a Sami art gallery and museum.