chapter  6
14 Pages

22 July and the Negotiation of Memory in Norwegian Society 2011–2014

ByTor Einar Fagerland

On 22 July 2011 the social and cultural fabric of Norwegian society was dramatically thrown off balance. The Government Centre of Oslo was bombed. A few hours later, youths at the Labour Party’s summer camp in Utøya were savagely massacred. These attacks were described in The Guardian as, ‘one of the worst atrocities in recent European history’ (Beaumont 2011). Many aspects of Norwegian society were subjected to a paramount test that day. The emergency medical unit succeeded; others, like the police unit, failed dramatically. Now, many years after, Norwegian society is still struggling to come to terms with these terror attacks. What was really their cause – and equally important – how should they affect us today, are questions that continue to linger, unanswered.