REBEL ARCHITECTURE LAB – Exploring bird life and geopolitical contexts in the North

REBEL Architecture Lab and architects behind it – Alla Onopchenko and Ioulia Eleftheriadou – visited Kirkenes for the very first time and had their introductory residency via BAR International program.  

Since the main interest of the collective was birdwatching and bird life, they got to explore Sør-Varanger with a specific focus on Pasvik, where they got to meet local birdwatchers/bird lovers/bird enthusiasts, wander around the birdwatching areas and take a dive into the birdwatching history of the place. Apart from that, they met Birdlife Norway in Stabbursnes (Porsanger), where they had a chance to watch Lesser White-fronted Geese arriving the area the whole way from Kerkini lake in Greece, a rare bird species that connects Northern Greece and Northern Norway in both natural and geopolitical ways. 

Along with that, Alla and Ioulia took a dive into local history of Kirkenes and Sør-Varanger, as well as industrial and geopolitical aspects of life in the borderland, and got an insight into possible further development of the area via conversations with the local experts. 

REBEL ARCHITECTURE LAB is an art collective founded by architects Alla Onopchenko (Ukraine) and Ioulia Eleftheriadou (Greece), who work and live in Oslo. They research on architecture, often by applying artistic methods, and work performatively as well. The essential aspect of their architectural research is first of all understanding the context and creating bonds with local community they are working in and with. REBEL´s projects often take place in public spaces, where wide audience can be reached, and usually highlight social and/or political aspects. Per now they have created and developed projects in Ukraine, Greece, North Macedonia, Sweden and Norway.

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