Exhibition on freedom of expression with contributions from Nordic young people opens in conjunction with Session of Nordic Council

The winning entries are now displayed in front of the Storting in Oslo at Eidsvolls plats, which is a popular spot for expressions of opinion and demonstrations.

President of the Nordic Council Jorodd Asphjell says that he hopes that the competition will facilitate the participants’ dialogue around freedom of expression and that this conversation will continue among those visiting the exhibition.

“There are now many arenas for participation, not least digitally. Although these can be positive, there’s also a dark side with bullying and harassment that scares people into not expressing their opinion. I think several entries have problematised this well.”

Asphjell also points out how the location for the exhibition has been chosen with care.

“It’s worth reminding ourselves of the symbolism of our standing here at Eidsvolls plats – one of Norway’s most important arenas for freedom of expression and engagement. More than 700 opinions are expressed here every year. This is especially important at a time when several of our Nordic values are under pressure – freedom of expression, democracy, and human rights are values we must fight for every day.”

Listen to us young people!

Also present at Eidsvolls plass were the 15 year olds Linus Aschehaug, Linus Vonheim, and Nikita Grozov from Ris upper secondary school in Oslo. Their poem Netthetsens skygger i Nordens frihetshjerte is one of the entries being exhibited.

“When we started to think about freedom of expression, we thought that although Norway is one of the best countries in the world, we also have a dark side that can be found online. When you can be anonymous, it’s easy to say anything, even things that can hurt others,” says Linus.

One of the trio, Nikita, is from Odessa in Ukraine and moved to Norway when the war started. He says that the topic is a pressing one, and he has a simple message for politicians in the Nordic Council:

“Listen to us young people!

“Yes, our opinion is just as valuable as an adult’s,” adds Linus, the third member of the poet trio.

The boys also had the opportunity to talk to several politicians from the Nordic Council during the heavy snowfall at Eidsvolls plass.

“It’s just great that our poem is being exhibited here outside the Storting,” say the boys.

De vinnande bidragen

Text entries

  • “Lad os sende 27.931.223 breve” by Cecilie Malou Lundø Pedersen, 17 years old, Herlufsholm school, Denmark
  • “Emils ekkokammer” by Ingunn H. Viken, Hadeland upper secondary school, Norway
  • “Kære samfund” by Emilie Poulsen, Hasseris upper secondary school, Aalborg, Denmark 
  • “Ekkokamre er den største trusselen for den nordiske samfunnsmodellen” by Nikolai Eiken, 18 years old, from Ulsteinvik, Akademiet upper secondary school in Ålesund, Norway

Graphic entries

  • Ekko, 18 years old, Charlottenlund upper secondary school, Trondheim, Norway
  • Netthets, Lise and Lotte Muller, Charlottenlund upper secondary school, Trondheim, Norway
  • Maja, 18 years old, Thora Storm upper secondary school, Trondheim, Norway
  • Martynas, 18 years old, Thora Storm upper secondary school, Trondheim, Norway

Netthetsens skygger i Nordens frihetshjerte

I det nordlige hjerte, hvor frihetens flamme brenner,

Nett hetsens skygger danser, et mørke vi skal kjenne.

Ytringsfrihetens ånder svever over skog og fjell,

Demokratiets arv, vår frihetstale og vår sjel.

På digitale stier, der ord blir kastet som sten,

Nett hetsens gift piler, treffer hjertet igjen.

I ytringsfrihetens navn, skal stemmer klinge klart,

Men hatets røst, vi må stå imot med vår vakt.

Demokratiet, som et tre, rotfestet og sterkt,

I Nordens jord, hvor rettferdighet bor, hvor håp blir verkt.

Nett hetsens storm kan prøve å velte treet,

Men vi, som Nordens barn, skal stå sammen i ideen.

La ordene være broer, ikke kniver i mørket,

Ytringsfrihetens gave, en skatt vi må verne.

Demokratiets hjerte banker i vårt bryst,

La oss elske friheten, la oss stå sammen, aldri vik.

I Nordens ånd, la oss bygge en bro,

Over digitale daler, hvor hatets vinder blåser grovt.

Ytringsfrihetens sol, la den alltid skinne,

Demokratiets arv, vår felles, kjære venn.


Linus Aschehaug, Linus Vonheim, and Nikita Grozov,  Ris upper secondary school in Oslo