Layered Landscapes Lofoten: A History of Extremes

Gisle Løkken | Magdalena Haggärde

Lofoten is a history of extremes: extreme nature, extreme weather conditions, extreme natural resources and extreme survival. The islands of Lofoten float in a timeless mythical narration of battling between man and nature, dating back to the origin of human presence in these territories. The fact that Lofoten has hosted the world’s most precious fisheries of codfish for centuries in the same areas where the seabed is assumed to hide a prosperous amount of oil and gas, and which are now experiencing a significant influx of tourists, signifies a latent and incommensurable conflict that could irreversibly change the landscape. The people living in these territories have been connected to the landscape and its resources for innumerable years. They are therefore facing not only external threats from global economies and climate changes, but also national political decisions and structural changes in the fisheries which threaten to deprive local communities of their resources. These ongoing processes have long altered the way people have used and inhabited the landscape, but now more than ever there is a need for awareness and knowledge to build resilience – to maintain flexibility in the face of change – but, at the same time, to be in control of the changes’ impacts on the complex ecology of landscapes and societies.

Jarbakkan, Tindsøya, Øksnes Vestbygd
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