Drawing on fiction, eye-witness accounts and historical sources, writer Bjørn Berge casts an unconventional eye over lost nations. Join him to hear the stories of countries that once existed but have now have been erased from the map. Varying vastly in size and shape, location and longevity, they are united by one fact: all of them endured long enough to issue their own stamps.
Some of their names, such as Biafra or New Brunswick, will be relatively familiar. Others, such as Labuan, Tannu Tuva, and Inini, are far less recognisable. But all of these lost nations have stories to tell, whether they were as short-lived as Eastern Karelia, which lasted only a few weeks during the Soviet-Finnish War of 1922, or as long-lasting as the Orange Free State, a Boer Republic that celebrated 50 years as an independent state in the late 1800s. Their broad spectrum reflects the entire history of the 19th and 20th centuries, with its ideologies, imperialism, waves of immigration, and conflicts both major and minor.
This talk will intrigue anyone keen to understand what makes a nation a nation.
This event is supported by Norla Norwegian Literature Abroad.
Bjørn Berge is an architect, researcher, and writer. He has written and published numerous articles and books in Norway on architecture and building ecology. In English, he has published The Ecology of Building Materials in two editions: Elsevier Science 2000 and Routledge, 2009. This work is used as a teaching resource at universities in many countries.