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The terror attacks of 22.07.2011 will be used as a case of critical events with relevance beyond the Norwegian context. Correspondingly, the first specific aim is to perform in-depth analyzes of a) responses to 22.07.2011 in the messages from memorial sites in Oslo and Utvika, collected and preserved by the National Archives of Norway and of, b) focus group interviews performed 2014 with Swedish and Norwegian upper secondary students as well as with informants from their parent generation. On the basis of this first aim, the second specific aim is to contribute to theoretical perspectives regarding collective memory and national identity formation, and to discuss use of the messages as learning material in school when values are on the agenda.

The datasets consist of (a) the 15 000 memorial messages from Oslo and Utvika collected shortly after 22.07.2011 and (b) data produced four and five years later by interviews in Sweden and Norway with upper secondary school students and informants of their parent generation. This combination gives unique possibilities to compare understandings and interpretations regarding religions, beliefs and values over time, in different age-groups and across a national border. The combined datasets can be seen as partial expressions of Norwegian and Swedish collective memories essential for construction of national identities in societies characterized by cultural complexity.

While several projects study critical events focusing trauma related to victims/relatives, the RVN-project´s focus is on expressions of religion and values related to the critical event and to Breivik´s ideology, as expressed in the memorial messages, and how the event and its relevance today is interpreted and understood by young people and persons belonging to their parental generation, some years after the event.

Participating reseracher at University West

Prof. Kerstin von Brömssen

Other researchers

Prof. Sidsel Lied, Hedmark University College, Hamar, Norway
Prof. Geir Skeie, Stavanger University and Stockholm University
Associate Prof. Hans Lödén, Karlstad University, Sweden
PhD Student Sidsel Undseth Bakke, Stavanger University, Norway

External funding

University of Karlstad


Kerstin Von Brömssen

Kerstin Von Brömssen Senior Professor