Egalitarian values and a commitment to social change through music and art is at the core of Borealis but there is a lot of work to be done to make this a clear and meaningful reality at Borealis and music events and club nights everywhere. We cannot solve the problem of inequality alone and rely on collaborative, critical thinking to inspire us all to make the arts more inclusive. Borealis is not a judge or jury, nor are we without our own internalised prejudices. We are open to feedback and discussion as we find ways to work together on changing the world in our own way and in our field.
It is important that the festival is a safe place for everyone involved – tolerant, supportive and free from harassment. We are all co-conspirators in the strive for equality, and we ask all of our staff, artists, delegates, audience and volunteers to promote the same values of respect for all – regardless of race, ethnicity, listening experience, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability or age.
- We don’t assume anyone’s gender, origin or sexuality.
- We ask for consent before touching anyone. Their bodies, their choice!
- We have a zero tolerance policy towards harassment and prejudice of any kind, including sexual harassment and violence.
- If you feel threatened, unwell, or unsafe at any event, as well as bar staff and security, there will be volunteers in yellow t-shirts to act as points of connection, support or help if you might need it.
- We aim for all our venues to be wheelchair accessible, to have gender neutral toilets and enough seating for those who need it.
- Our ideal would be to provide a sanctuary space at every venue that could act as a more intimate quiet zone as we recognise that busy public events don’t always suit everyone.
- Taking a break is ok! If you feel uncomfortable or need a break you can always leave the concert. You’ll be let back in when you are ready.
Exerpt from Borealis’ official strategy
Generous, curious, challenging, including, exploring
Borealis aims to be an acknowledged international festival for experimental music, reflecting the diverse society we live in. Borealis wants to bring the outside world to Bergen and send Norwegian performers and art projects off to the outside world. Borealis aims to make a mark and create new opportunities for composers and artists, as well as for the audience and their staff. The art we present should challenge. Borealis wishes to be an arena for new experiences all the time making sure the audience feels welcome.
Borealis intends to be a professional and attractive collaborator and employer with an ethical awareness.
OUR FUNDEMENTAL ETHICAL AWARENESS
Borealis will reflect the diversity in our society through a broad representation in gender, age, cultural and ethnical backgrounds, sexual identity, disabilities, language and listening experience.
Borealis wants to be a sustainable organisation. We put equal value on the social, economic and environmental parts of our work.
Borealis’ code of conduct and ethical awareness was developed through the artist led project Doing Not Saying with Borealis Artists in Residence (2019–2020) Jenny Moore in the forefront. Together with the feminist miltia – a group of women, non-binary and queer people in Bergen gathered by Jenny – a framework for Borealis’ commitments to change was made. A framework that will evolve and develop in years to come.