When the war in former Yugoslavia led to the arrival of great numbers of refugees to Norway, we began the work of documenting these exiles and their meeting with Norwegian society. This has since developed into a broad engagement in connection with cultural diversity. Below is an overview of some of the projects we have worked with.
Islam in bedehusland (Islam in chapel country)
This was a documentation project (2004-2005) studying the meeting between immigrants and local residents in towns and villages in Ryfylke, and how the immigrants have managed in rural Norway with their backgrounds from a different culture and religious connection. In 2005, a report on the project was published and a traveling exhibition set up. The project was financed by the National Museum Council and the Ministry of Culture and Ecclesiastic Affairs.
Den fleirkulturelle bygda (The multi-cultural countryside)
This project (2001-2002) dealt with studies carried out in connection with the national documentation project, “Document 2000”. This project was set up to document important features in Norwegian society at the turn of the century 1999-2000. Our studies led to the publication of a report, “Den fleirkulturelle bygda”.
Den lange vegen (The long road)
This project (1998-1999) deals with refugees from former Yugoslavia who came to Suldal after the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The museum conducted a broad interview study among these refugees, produced an exhibition and arranged a conference on immigration in rural societies. This project resulted in a report entitled “Den lange vegen – Rapport om museet og den fleirkulturelle utfordringa”, a report about the museum and the multi-cultural challenge.
BYGDEBØKER (BOOKS OF LOCAL HISTORY)
Ryfylkemuseet has had an author employed to work with the local-history project since 1986. At that time, the then director of the museum, Roy Høibo, began writing “Soga om Sand” (The Saga of Sand), as a part of Suldal’s cultural story. The book was published in 1993.
Since 1993, Ernst Berge Drange has held a full-time position as author of local history at the museum. This work is financed by Suldal Municipality through the purchasing of the service from Ryfylkemuseet.
Ernst Berge Drange published the three-volume farm-and-family history for the town of Sand under the title ““Sand – Gardar og folk” (Sand – Farms and folk). The third volume is, however, more of a history of coastal villages, not of farms. The two-volume farm-and-family history for the town of Erfjord was published in 2004 under the title “Erfjord – Gardar og folk”, while the three-volume “Jelsa – Gardar og folk” was published in 2014.
The perspective of these works of local history has been to study history from the inside, starting with the basis each individual farm has in nature and resources. In addition to the usual written local history source material, extensive fieldwork has been carried out in this connection. Many old narratives and much oral information have been collected and passed on. The books are for sale at Nesasjøhuset, the museum’s administration center, in our net store (postage is added), and at the Suldal municipal center.
Since 1995, the museum has worked with reconstruction, documentation and continuation of traditional knowledge in the building trade. This work has been financed by grants from Suldal Municipality and Rogaland County Municipality.
Byggeskikk i Ryfylke (1995-2001).
A documentation of building traditions and building protection in Ryfylke. The results of the project have been published in a report series and in “Folk in Ryfylke”, 2001.
Kjeldeskaping og kunnskapsoppbygging i bygningsvernet (2005-2008)
Between 2005 and 2008, we carried out a Project which can be translated to “Creation of sources and construction of knowledge in building protection” financed by grants from ABM Development. The project was to develop methods for creating, collecting, organizing and making source material available for the protection, moving and maintenance of buildings. Its aim was to develop methods that would ensure satisfactory documentation and a necessary improvement of competency in the work of caring for buildings deemed worthy of protection. The project was initiated by the Building network and was carried out together with members of the network. One result of the project was a Handbook in building protection.
OTHER RESEARCH PROJECTS
Samarbeidsprosjekt om immateriell kultur (2014-2015)
Action-born knowledge has been the subject of a two-year-long cooperation on immaterial culture with the Staro Selo Museum in Serbia. The report from the project can be found HERE.
Røldal-Suldal Kraft (2014-2015)
Trygve Brandal completed a book project proposed by Hydro Energy connected to the fifty-year anniversary of Røldal-Suldal power in 2015. The book discusses the construction period in the 1960s, the interaction for better and for worse between the power company and the rural community, and the operations and development of the power works in Røldal and Suldal during the past 50 years.
Sauda Fabrikkarbeiderforening (1999)
In 1999, Ernst Berge Drange completed a project for the Sauda Industrial Workers’ Association with the aim of writing the history of the association. This work led to the book “Mænd som ved hvad solidaritet er” (Men who understand the meaning of solidarity), which was published by the Association.
Sau og geit (1994-1998)
A documentation of rearing sheep and goats in Ryfylke and North Rogaland, and of getting fodder from the moors. It was financed by the municipalities, sheep- and goat-raising farmers, organizations and private firms and completed by Trygve Brandal and Njål Tjelttveit. It resulted in the book “«Saud og hei – Sauehald og heiaføring i Ryfylke og på Haugalandet» and “Geit og støl – Geitehald i Ryfylke og Nord-Rogaland”.
Ryfylkeprodukt – frå ide til næring (1994-1996)
A cooperation with the Ryfylke products association on the study of the traditional basis for development of new products from Ryfylke. Ryfylkemuseet saw this as a continuation of the work that had started with the exhibition, “Made in Ryfylke” in 1989. The study was done by Rønnaug Foss Alsvik, Grete Holmboe and Gaute Berge Nilsen. The results were published in a final report, but this has not been printed.
Gull og grøne skogar (1994-1995)
A research project financed by the Norwegian Water Resource and Energy Administration and completed by Trine Marie Larsen. The aim was to discover how Suldal municipality had changed after construction of the Ulla-Føre Works. The results were published in the book “Stev og støvsuging – ei gransking av kulturelle endringar i Suldal etter Ulla-Førre-utbygginga”.
Blant silkebus og bønder (1985-1986)
A study of rural culture in a construction period. Suldal Municipality was the site of Norway’s largest power construction scheme between 1974 and 1986. Ryfylkemuseet gained a grant from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for a study of this period. The results of the study have been published in the books “Blant silkebus og bønder – Ei studie av bygdekultur i ei anleggstid” og “Ulla-Førre – Norges største vasskraftprosjekt” .