COASTAL MAPPING

AHO, Institutt for Urbanisme og Landskap ved Karl Otto Ellefsen og Espen Aukrust Hauglin har siden våren 2018 arbeidet med prosjektet Coastal Mapping Research Studio. Nær 40 studenter ved AHO har i løpet av fem semestre deltatt i prosjektet. Vi utvider nå CMRS til å omfatte norske og internasjonale samarbeidspartnere. Intensjonen er å kartlegge og diskutere alle fiskevær fra Lofoten til Grense Jakobselv.

Arbeidet vårt med bosettinger langs den Nord-Atlantiske kysten undersøker fiskerienes avtrykk på land, både i bosettingsmønsteret og på stedsnivå. Vår hovedinteresse er ikke historisk utvikling, men hvordan disse stedene håndterer situasjonen i dag, hvordan folk i fiskeværene har utviklet ulike strategier for å tilpasse seg – “to cope with” – endrede forutsetninger.

Resultater fra den første delen av prosjektet som omfatter fiskevær i “kjerneområdet” for skreifisket – Senja, Vesterålen og Lofoten – er nå tilgjengelig i en digital utstilling. http://coastalmpping.no

Her finner du også forelesninger fra serien “Rural Stories” med Karl Otto Ellefsen, Stephan Petermann, Reidar Almås, Andrés Tavares/Diego Inglez de Souza og Tarald Lundevall tilgjengelige. Utsillingen er planlagt åpnet “fysisk” i Galleriet AHO 11.01.2021.

Masterprogrammene til AHO undervises på engelsk og mange internasjonale studenter har deltatt i arbeidet. Derfor er også utstillingsmaterialet på engelsk. Kartet over viser fiskeværet Nordmela på Andøya, Copyright CMRS. Bildet under er hentet fra den fotografiske kartleggingen av samtlige bolighus i Gryllefjord, Foto: CMRS

Noen utvalgte tekster fra utstillingen:

The Rural

Nearly all interests in urbanism, planning and architecture have for decades been directed towards the city. As a result, transformation processes in the rural areas, have been observed to a limited extent. In the spring of 2017, Karl Otto Ellefsen and Tarald Lundevall published “Fiskevær – Myre on the outside” on Pax publishing house. In 2019 the text was reworked into “North Atlantic Coast – A Monography of Place”.  The study discusses the impact of the fisheries and Norwegian fishing industry on settlements and demography – place and territory – how the industry shapes and changes places and how it influences the settlement pattern.

Cod Fisheries

Cod fisheries were constitutional for the North Norwegian coastal settlements over the last millennium. Hanged and dried cod – tørrfisk made from skrei – was the first Norwegian international commodity and became a part of European trade in the Middle Ages. The reliable trade connections in turn allowed for the creation of specialized settlements – fishing villages –  along the North Atlantic Coast, the access to fishing waters being decisive for the location of the settlements. The fishing villages might be looked upon as the imprints of the fisheries on land.

The Core Area

The combined area of Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja make up the Core Area for the winter-fisheries of skrei, the Atlantic Cod. Driven by instinct, great multitudes return from the depths of the Barents Sea to their spawning grounds off the coast of Norway, the main areas to be found in Vestfjorden south of Lofoten. The cod follows the Egga slope, where the relatively shallow waters along the coast, breaks steeply into the deep Atlantic Ocean and the warm Gulf Stream currents are filled with nutrition. The fishing villages of Lofoten are close to the spawning grounds, and the fishing villages of Vesterålen have a close proximity the fishing grounds along Egga. In the villages and harbors in Senja the boats mostly have to travel further, but their fishing grounds are abundant and generous. The combination of the distance to Egga, the quality of the harbor and, historically, the access to agricultural resources, have been the constituting elements for the settlement pattern. 

Fishing Villages

The fishing village as a settlement form was established along the coast from Møre in Western Norway to Finnmark in the very north. The fishing villages’ physical organization and architecture are typified by the encounter between sea and land. Historically, the villages may be divided into two different archetypes in terms of program; rorvær – seasonal fishing villages and fiskerlandsbyer – fishing hamlets with a year round population, specialized in fisheries but also dependent on local agricultural resources. These settlements are expressions of how fishing culture adapted and show differences in terms of localization, historical background and architecture. 

Coping Strategies

“The fishing village place type” functioned as a specialized system of production, with few or no functions typical of central towns. The localization of the villages and hamlets did not change. The stability of the modes of production and ways of life also promoted stability in local culture and building modes, and a distinctive culture of settlement.The distances the Arctic coastal communities had to handle were always substantial and the conditions for production and living were extreme. The communities had to develop coping strategies in order to deal with shifting frameworks outside of their control – overcoming and exploiting otherwise uncontrollable factors and conditions. Current transformation forces affecting the fisheries and the settlements include:

Climate change and global warming/ The fight for exploiting Arctic resources/ The extension of Norwegian Oil activities northwards/ The Barents Sea transport connection from Asia to Europe/ transport connection/ Travelers and mass-tourism.

And in terms of policies and industries: Changes in regional policies and the urge for centralization/ A marked oriented quota system for distributing the resources/ The development of a less locally owned and more finance based production system.

Contemporary Typologies

A fishing village is not a clear-cut statistical, geographical or architectural term. Even though the fisheries followed patterns and techniques that were relatively identical along the entire coast, each place differed from the next, historically depending on the distance to the fishing grounds, harbor conditions, local agricultural resources and property conditions.

 Over time, harbor conditions and links to national infrastructure are more important than distance to the fishing grounds. The structure of production and ownership in the industries have changed and are decisive for the development in the different villages. Some villages, some families and some companies are more competitive than others in the battle for quotas. 

The villages were always part of an international economy, and are today depending on both local abilities to “cope”, industrial economy and global markets.

The contemporary situation in the fishing villages can roughly be typified in broad categories. In the exhibition four Senja villages exemplify each of these types: Labor camps/ Fading fishing villages/ Recreational ruins/ Inventive societies

Fiskerihavn, Senjahopen, Senja. Foto: CMRS

About Karl Otto Ellefsen

Professor in Urbanisme and Architecture at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, (1997–) Rektor at AHO 2001-2015. Visiting professor at Visual Arts Innovation Centre, Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Beijing (2017–). Honorary professor, CAFA, (2019–) President in European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE), (2013–2017)
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