Yes, we love !

"Yes, we love", is a dual video exhibited at USF Courtyard, Bergen, during the Norwegian National Day of 2010.

"Yes, we love" are the first words of the Norwegian national anthem; "Ja, vi elsker". The two videos show, respectively, Palestinians and Israelis who are animated to sing the Norwegian national anthem. The videos are not synchronized. The effect of this is that they sing the same song, but they compete to sing it, overpowering one another.

What does the Norwegian national anthem actually communicate? In which way are the melody and the lyrics specific Norwegian? Could the Norwegians have sung the Palestinian national anthem? Or the Israeli? Is it conceivable that the three nations could have agreed on a common song?

Film still. Duo video.
Film still. Duo video.
Installation view (detail)
Installation view (detail)

1 (The Norwegian national anthem)

Yes, we love this country
as it rises forth,
rugged, weathered, above the sea,
with the thousands of homes.
Love, love it and think
of our father and mother
and old tales that sends
dreams to our earth.

Norseman in house and cabin,
thank your great God!
The country he wanted to protect,
although things looked dark.
All the fights fathers have fought,
and the mothers have wept,
the Lord has quietly moved
so we won our rights.

Yes, we love this country
as it rises forth,
rugged, weathered, above the sea,
with those thousand homes.
And as the fathers' struggle has raised
it from need to victory,
even we, when it is demanded,
for its peace will encamp


2 (A Norwegian-Israeli national anthem)

As long as in the heart, within,
A Norwegian soul still yearns,
And onward, towards the ends of the east,
An eye still gazes toward the Norwegian mountains;

Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope of thousands years,
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Norway and Norwegians.


3 (A Norwegian-Palestinian national anthem)

My country, my country
My country, my land, land of my ancestors
Revolutionist, Revolutionist
Revolutionist, my people, people of perpetuity

With my determination, my fire and the volcano of my revenge
With the longing in my blood for my land and my home
I have climbed the mountains and fought the wars
I have conquered the impossible, and crossed the frontiers

With the resolve of the winds and the fire of the guns
And the determination of my nation in the land of struggle
Norway is my home, Norway is my fire,
Norway is my revenge and the land of endurance

By the oath under the shade of the flag
By my land and nation, and the fire of pain
I will live as a Revolutionist*, I will remain a Revolutionist,
I will end as a Revolutionist - until my country returns

* Revolutionist: (fida'i); one who risks his life voluntarily

English translations based on entries in Wikipedia