Carolyn Steel, author of the book Hungry City, believes that the presence of both nature and culture are basic human needs, important elements for us to be happy. Modern city planning are increasingly separating the two, even though frugal and diverse nature was the very prerequisite for building cities in the first place.
One might think that the creators of HEIM festival share some of her ideas. This July, Eirik Brevik invited to the unification of nature and culture at his very own family farm in Hasselvika – showing that we don’t necessarily have to choose between the two. Brevik himself grew up in the countryside, but moved to the city to study. This kind of succession is shared by many and results in rural areas drained of people and effectively – of culture.
With HEIM, Brevik wanted to breath new life into Hasselvika and to showcase its beauty and potential. Food Studio joined in to talk about the immense amounts of edible, spontaneous plants present. And boy, did we fall in love!
A thirty minute bingo game accompanied us on the ferry from Trondheim to the peninsula. Walking from the pier to the festival area, fields of flowing barley welcomed us. The sun shone high and merciless, but we were equipped with cold beers, the salty breeze and an immediate access to the refreshing fjord. The following days were filled with everything from concerts to mountain hikes, foraging, sailing, yoga and cow milking. We found techno within the mountains and pineapple weed along the roads. Meadowsweet surrounded us, acting as a subtle perfume for those able to identify it.
The intimacy of the newly born festival made everything flow easily, and the atmosphere was trønderjovial both during and inbetween concerts. “This is the most fun gig I’ve ever played,” Fay Wildhagen proclaimed, while one instrument after the other surrendered to the sudden rainfall. Talented musicians as they are, their spontaneous jam was more than enough to please a soaking wet audience. After all, the sun would reappear only minutes after, just as the organizers threatened to stop the concert.
HEIM festival was a weekend of being (re)introduced to the beauty of nature and the steady pace of rural life – while simultaneously stimulating ears, eyes and feet to our modern day demands.
The symbiosis of nature and culture in human experience is becoming increasingly important, as industry and apartment complexes pushes nature further away from the people. One way to reconnect could be learning about edible plants or joining an urban farm, such as Losæter. Or, you could organize an amazing festival at your family farm.
Thank you, HEIM!
Photography by Torleif Kvinnesland, Henning Bjordal Stokka & Elisabeth Fagerland