In the far north where the wind bites and the waves thunder lies Narvik War Museum. We are very proud to present this unique and innovative museum, which truly rethinks how to tell a war story. An incredible project and journey we have been exploring since 2015. Now it’s your turn.
This post will only highlight a few installations from the museum and our thoughts of the design and the communication behind.
To feel the War
One of the most unique features of the museum is its ability to make history accessible as more than numbers and cold facts. At Narvik War Museum you enter a world, where history and art fuse. An example of this is The Drop, a digital installation which functions as a recurrent theme of the museum.
The Drop falls in slow motion, then ripples expand across the water, not only on the projected image but also on surrounding images in the entire room. In this context the drop becomes a very symbolic mediation of a feeling or a vibe, which permeates the room. You can interpret The Drop as a symbol of a bomb, or how war impacts our society on every level. Next to The Drop you find another screen, where the same drop is seen falling, but this time played backwards.
Details such as The Drop creates a new language and reflections of themes, we have been presented with in history museums countless times before. Themes such as war, death and human rights. The alternative communication strategy of Narvik War Museum expands these themes to bodily, sensual experiences.
Surveillance cameras and their recordings are placed in the rooms as part of the exhibition. The video material is transmitted live on the wall, where you can either monitor the behaviour of other museum guests, or face yourself as a victim of surveillance.
Material as Message
Narvik War Museum invites you to experience their local history of the occupation during World War II. Some of the most dramatic battles of the war did unfold in the Ofotfjord and the mountains surrounding the north of Narvik. The fjord was used to transport huge quantities of iron ore, which both the Nazis and the resistance had an interest in securing for themselves and denying to the enemy. The landscape in model is therefore mostly made out of iron ore to underline the core of the battles in the Ofotfjord. On the dark water a sea battle is narrated by a voice over and projected images of ships.
There is much more to explore at Narvik War Museum. It has been incredible to be part of this huge project - all the way from concept developing, designing, installing, and the opening of the museum.
We hope you will get the chance to visit the museum and experience an old story told in a new language.