The year 2006 will mark the 100th anniversary of the death of the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. The Norwegian Ministry of Cultural Affairs has decided that this is to be commemorated as the Henrik Ibsen Year all over the world.
Throughout the year, a wide range of events will be arranged both in Norway and abroad, which will highlight the importance of Ibsen’s legacy and provide opportunities for fresh interpretations of his work. At least one of his plays will be performed on a stage somewhere in the world every single day.
Ibsen proclaims the freedom of the individual in his work, but his humanistic ideals are too rich and varied to be categorised in a single philosophy. What he does is to show paths we can follow in our own search for personal freedom, shaking life and forcing it to reveal its secrets, to borrow James Joyce’s imagery.
More than any other writer, he has forced us to reflect on our fundamental rights and values. The social conflicts he confronts us with are still relevant – very much so. Even today, some of his texts are censured and some of his plays prohibited in parts of the world by authorities who consider them too controversial and too much of a threat to the establishment.
The programme for the year will be extensive. A programme overview and a presentation of the major events will be published in November 2005, both in the form of a brochure and on the Internet. The Norwegian programme will be developed and co-ordinated by the National Committee for the Ibsen Year. The international programme will be co-ordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in co-operation with the National Committee, the foreign service missions and Ibsen societies in Norway and other countries.
We will shortly be presenting the wide range of events that will take place all over the world in 2006. The Ibsen Year will be a tribute to the playwright’s prominent position in the world of drama. We hope that these events will be a source of enrichment and inspiration for a new generation of world citizens.
To read a recent article about Ibsen in The Guardian, click here.