2011 – 2012

Together with the media and culture organisation Ulfah Arts in Birminghan, UK, Nedland Kultur organised an exchange of young media people from England, with backgrounds from various parts of the world. Focusing on radio production and presentation, several representatives of multicultural youth in England got to spend spend 4 weeks at NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation), thanks to support from EU’s Leonardo da Vinci Programme.

A chance meeting at WOMEX in Sevilla between Naz Koser, founder of Ulfah Arts, and Sigbjørn Nedland, founder of Nedland Kultur, sparked the idea of a collaboration. The idea was to help develop media awareness and a dedication to journalism in the clientele of multi-ethnic youth that had been recruited to the Ulfah Art center in Birmingham. This center was started to give inspiration and help to youth whose background was giving some challenges in their meeting with British society. Naz Koser started working with young girls in muslim communities, getting permission to use schools during afternoons and evenings for activities and training in arts, music etc. Then her initiative grew, and eventually became an art center offering activities for a group of young people. There was a common understanding between the two founders that this group of young people, many of them British muslim girls, are grossly under-represented in the media. They decided to try to do something to let some of them get a chance to learn media skills, and maybe become a voice in media for their community. Nedland approached NRK, where he was at the time running a radio show of global music called Jungeltelegrafen, offering to coordinate an exchange, and to offer training to youths from Ulfah Arsts as reporters for this show. NRK’s Culture Department responded positively, and with support from EU via the Leonardo Program (a program designed to build a skillful workforce through European Partnerships), the project became reality.

Once the support from the EU was guaranteed, and the necessary contracts were written, Ulfah Arts started recruiting participants to the project. The first groups that were selected consisted of girls only, while the last group also counted some boys. While selection of participants took place in Birmingham, preparations at NRK made sure that a wide range of experiences would be available for the young journalists, including participation in production of features, as well as in live broadcasts, of the music program “Jungeltelegrafen”, training in radio documentaries, and visiting the multicultural TV show “Migrapolis”. The three groups that came to Norway all got to experience a wide selecton of different kinds of radio work, and they produced several features and interviews, some of which were broadcast by NRK, and some which they brought back to England, and put on the air at a Birmingham radio station. All of the participants had the chance to take part in the live coverage of big music festivals, some at the Mela Festival, an outdoor summer festival of global music in Oslo, and some at Oslo World, a major world music festival taking place in Oslo in October/November every year.

Above: Participants from the various groups of aspiring young journalists that came to Norway for training.

Left top: Two of the participants interviewing a Norwegian reggae artist.

Left below: Some of the participants got to experience a real Norwegian winter.

The participants had a chance to try their hand at various kinds of radio work, and some of them also made quite detailed reports of their activities on social media. Several of the participants have continued working in media and journalism in the UK after the exchange experience.

The link below takes you to a blog where you can read several reports by project participants, giving accounts of how they experienced their training and their activities and tasks while in Norway.