The Public Conversation About 22 July
How do we make sense of 22 July? And what is the impact of the terror attack today and in the future? These questions are key to the exhibition you are about to enter. A minute-by-minute time line presents the course of events on 22 July 2011. The exhibition also includes different narratives present in Norwegian discourse today. The narratives attempt to understand the terror attack, its causes and consequences, and seek to explore the impact of 22 July 2011 today and in the years to come.
Some of the narratives presented in the exhibition are well-known and will immediately resonate with the Norwegian people, while others have been more in the background. Some have been controversial and difficult. These narratives about 22 July live side by side in Norway today. They all contribute to the public conversation about 22 July.
Many people are living a life that will be forever marked by 22 July, by great loss, memories of bottomless grief, and the fight to survive and continue living.
Others will never forget where they were, and what their immediate thoughts were when they heard about the bomb at the government building complex and the shooting on Utøya. There are also children in school today who were not born in 2011. They will inherit and administer this part of history.
When these words are now displayed in print, this exhibition will also contribute to the public conversation about 22 July. With gratitude, respect and humility toward survivors and bereaved families, we have attempted to the best of our ability to outline the contours of lived lives, loss, pain and survival.
A learning centre should also discuss the motivation for acts of terror and their consequences. We rely on the best expertise available in 2020 to discuss such matters. However, the 22 July Centre is responsible for the content of this exhibition in its entirety.
The public conversation about 22 July can both comfort and unite, split and challenge us. People with and without memories of 22 July will continue this conversation. The aim of the exhibition is to contribute to a knowledge-based, open and inclusive conversation about 22 July in the years to come.
The exhibition in the 22 July Centre has no age restriction and families with children are welcome to visit. We would however like to make it known to our visitors that the exhibition is not made for children, nor is it adapted to the needs of young children. Certain parts of the exhibition may provoke a strong reaction from children as the exhibition contains, among other things, images and witness testimony that can be both sad and frightening.
The 22 July Centre’s educational programme is created to suit the needs of pupils in grade nine and upwards. There may nevertheless be cases where children and pupils in lower grades may benefit from seeing the exhibition. In such instances, we recommend that guardians follow the practical information guidelines provided by the facilitators at the centre upon arrival. It is recommended that guardians know in advance what the exhibition’s contents and structure are, and the staff present in the centre will be able to assist with this information. It is important that children and adults remain together throughout their visit to the centre and we also recommend that guardians and children discuss the experience after the visit to the centre.