chapter  10
‘Imagined communities’: the local community as a place for ‘children’s culture’ and social participation in Norway
Pages 20

This text is an excerpt from an application addressed to the administrative authorities in a town in northern Norway. The 8-year-old boy is living on Bird Island, an island with approximately 1,100 inhabitants about 50 km from the town where the municipal administration is located. Toralf wanted public funding to start a club in the small local community where he was living. He wanted to take part in a participatory project for children and young people run by the Norwegian Council for Cultural Affairs in eleven different municipalities in Norway in the early 1990s. The main aim of the project, called Try Yourself, was to empower children as social participants in their local communities. By providing the children with funding for cultural activities that they had developed themselves, the project was intended to give them the opportunity to act on their own in society. The emphasis on ‘children’s own culture’ was a key aspect of the project. As noted by the initiator, the main aim of the project was: ‘. . . to give children status based on their own qualifications and needs, and to promote children’s own culture’ (The Norwegian Council for Cultural Affairs 1988: 2).