There is a clearing in the woods on the northside of Utøya. Here you will find Utøya at its most beautiful. Walking here, cones crunch beneath your feet as the path takes you through wild forget-me-nots to the memorial site called the Clearing (Lysningen).
The memorial at Utøya belongs to the bereaved families and friends. It is created for and by those who lost someone at Utøya. Through joint efforts, the Clearing is a dignified and peaceful place to commemorate.
The names and age of those who lost their lives at Utøya on 22 July 2011 are punched out in a metallic ring suspended from the surrounding trees. No name is mentioned first, no name mentioned last. As the day passes, sunlight shines through all the names at different times of the day. We have also established a habitat for the butterfly “Mourning Cloak”, which is often seen around the memorial.
It is important to commemorate the victims of the terror on 22 July every day. Still, there are 69 days that are particularly important – their birthdays. Every birthday is marked by placing a flower in the name on the memorial ring. Whenever there are young people taking part in activities at Utøya, they are invited to take part in a ceremony to honor the ones we lost on 22 July. In this video a class from a lower secondary school put flowers in the memorial ring.
On the birthday of each victim of 22 July 2011, a rose is placed by their name at the memorial. If there are school classes or other guests at Utøya, they are often invited to take part in the ceremony. Between spring and autumn we pick bouquets of wild-growing flowers on the island, to place in the names – in addition to the rose.
The Book of Commemoration
The book of commemoration is part of Hegnhuset, the learning centre at Utøya. This is an important project to commemorate those who lost their lives on 22 July 2011. The book is a standing installation wired between the ceiling and the floor, at the same time both painful and beautiful. It is circular, with no beginning or end, and without covers. Visitors open the book, and it closes by itself. Through images and texts, one gets to know who the victims were, what they liked to do, what they were engaged in. The book was made in close cooperation with the bereaved families, who has contributed with the images and texts.
Stories about the ones we lost
Når historien om 22. juli skal formidles, er det avgjørende å vise frem terrorens menneskelige konsekvenser. I filmene løftes frem historier om de vi mistet – fortalt av de som husker dem best.
As we tell the story of July 22nd, it is imperative to show the human consequences of terrorism. In these films, people closely related to the victims tell their stories.