This is not a Plug- In drug.
In 2020 Paal Nilssen-Love found himself moving to Nesodden.
A Peninsula 23 minutes by ferry outside of Oslo.
He soon discovered a flourishing community of artists and like-minded people. Perhaps to be compared with Laurel Canyon of the 1960 scene in LA.
Paal was soon asked if he might like to start a festival and decided to ask South African singer and actress Juliana Venter (who also moved to Nesodden in 2020) if she might be interested in joining him.
The focus of the festival is to create a yearly autumn festival based around local artists, musicians, dancers, poets, composers, writers and theater makers who reside on Nesodden, but not excluding non locals or international artists. Its focus would be a festival that uniquely includes a wide variety of expressions that challenges the notion of mass consumption.
What is important for our existence?
Besides working and earning a living, festivity is an essential part of mans existence, from religious to political, agricultural, or cultural celebrations.
Historically it includes festivals such as Josh Hashanah (Jewish new year) the Diwali festival of lights in India or Eid Al -Fitr the end of the Muslim fast,to name but a few.
In ancient Greece and Rome the Saturnalia was associated with social organization, political processes as well as religious. It was a festival in honor of the god Saturn and included gambling, private gift giving with a public banquet at which masters provided table service to their slaves.
It seems we have taken for granted theater festivals, music and many other types of festivals as an essential part of our civilization without whom (we have hopefully noticed in the past year) our lives would be empty, without expansion, experience or touch. We have through an overt exposure to television, the internet and cheaply produced consumer goods lost our sense of the importance of community and meaning. The connection we need with other people is the connection we need for our souls.
It is important for us to be reminded that a rock or a tree or a bird is not merely an object that is to be taken for granted, but that it is what gives our lives meaning in terms of reminding us of our origin. The elevation of our reality is a part of what gives us purpose and meaning, that which is given to us through art and music and ritual opens our eyes and sensitize us to what we otherwise would ignore through mundane living. It causes a longing or identification or perhaps alienation within us, and forces us to explore and question the world around us, it pushes us to recognize our individual potential. This does not happen by being passively fed controlled and often censored information or entertainment through the box be it TV or a computer screen. It comes from being challenged and confronted by unknown probabilities surprise experiences and unpredictable living.
It seems that a large part of mankind has lost itself in a world of isolation and meaninglessness. We seem to have lost a sense of who we really are and only fractionally come close to our potential which is vastly greater than we allow ourselves to believe. Instead of being active in our own lives and dreams and potential we have become passive observers and judges and commentators on the lives of others, falling into a mental sloth. Sometimes to be observed as a hypnotized cult entrusting our lives to authorities that no longer seems trustworthy in its position. Instead of true humans we have a world of celebrities and super rich who we almost worship as if they can save us from ourselves. We want to be entertained to bliss ,we seem to have forgotten that true bliss comes from finding true meaning by being active not passive and from being present in ones own and each others life.
Quote; Neil Postman (March 8, 1931 – October 5, 2003) was an American author, educator, media theorist and cultural critic :From Amusing ourselves to death.
“Television commercials are not "a series of testable, logically ordered assertions" rationalizing consumer decisions " it is a drama— a mythology, if you will—of handsome people" being driven to "near ecstasy by their good fortune" of possessing advertised goods or services. Television in its present state, does not satisfy the conditions for honest intellectual involvement and rational argument or critical acumen.
“The Age for reason was the pinnacle for rational argument. Only in the printed word, he states, could complicate truths be rationally conveyed. Postman gives a striking example: many of the first fifteen US presidents could probably have walked down the street without being recognized by the average citizen, yet all these men would have been quickly known by their written words. However, the reverse is true today. The names of presidents or even famous preachers, lawyers, and scientists call up visual images, typically television images, but few, if any, of their words come to mind. The few that do almost exclusively consist of carefully chosen soundbites. Postman mentions Ronald Reagan's abilities as an entertainer.”
The same goes for the internet today. Even with its vast creative potential it seems its harm has outdone its good. Such tools in the hands of unconscious men create nothing but calamity. Our society was founded upon that of ancient Hellenism, our structures of law, agriculture, science and art and human rights, everything we call civilization would not exist if it were not for our ancient history and great thinkers such as Socrates as well as the incredible diversity of many cultures, languages and traditions of which most of us know very little. With Forth stream festival we want to forge a way onward and outward in place or space. To challenge and hopefully enrich each other, and ourselves,
to reach out to our community, a larger audience and inviting unknown cultures, unknown music and unknown stories.
With music , film, dance and performance based on originality and invention. With rebellious passion to challenge the norms and accepted authorities. To find unconventional ways to the hearts of the audience by introducing them to a truthful yet elevated dream that includes wonder, pain, depth, beauty, dirt, ugliness, humour and all the ephemeral gifts that we refer to as life.
From Satire x by Roman satirical poet Juvenal(AD 100)
... Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.