The project Constitution anniversary as memory policy is a documentation- and research-project about the celebration of the Norwegian Constitution Anniversary in 2014. The project aimed to provide knowledge about how we celebrated, what the celebration did to us and what this this way of celebrating tells about us as a nation. The project was conducted by the research institute KIFO (Institute for Church-, Religion-, and Worldview Research) in collaboration with researchers from the Universities of Oslo, Bergen and Gothenburg. The project is funded by The Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget), with additional funding from the The Research Council of Norway. Data about the 2014-celebration were collected through participation in selected events, surveys about the population's participation in and experience of the anniversary, interviews with organizers and studies of programs and plans for celebrations.
73% of the population reported that they somehow had been involved or participated in the jubilee. The largest group is those who have followed the anniversary through the media (35%).But an almost equally large group participated personally in commemorative events (30%). It is perhaps somewhat surprising that the typical knowledge mediating events such as lectures (15%) and exhibitions (12%) have drawn more audience than festivals and cultural events (9%). The participation in the celebrations follows the well-known division in the population concerning education, age and income. People with high social status participate more in the jubilee than people with low social status. When it comes to the experience of the anniversary, people highlights historical experiences. They have received "more knowledge about the history behind the Constitution" (45%) and the anniversary has "brought the past closer in an exciting way" (43%). The anniversary has sparked a great activity in local historical societies. This applies not the least to the celebrations of the first national elections in Norway that took place in the churches across the country in winter and spring 1814. These elections have been celebrated through memorial services and suspension of historical documents and cultural plaques in about 300 churches all over the country. Documentation of these remembrance ceremonies shows high participation and that they led to a comprehensive arrangement cooperation between the Norwegian Church and municipalities and historical societies.
Both in terms of event profile, audience participation and experience, it appears that this has been a history based celebration. The survey indicates that the Constitution as symbol and the story of its creation, has been strengthened in Norwegians' consciousness through the anniversary. This is for example expressed through a greater proportion of the population emphasizing that it is the Constitution that is celebrated on the Norwegian National Day than it was before the anniversary; and by the fact that Eidsvoll during the jubilee, climbed to the top of the list of "Norwegian places." Overall, it suggests that the celebration in 2014, through both its historical references and the use of national symbols, have had a nation-building function. The anniversary was however primarily launched as a democracy anniversary that should not cultivate the nation, but universal values and contribute to increased awareness of democracy opportunities and challenges of the present and future. There are different perceptions whether the historical focus and highlighting of the Constitution as unifying symbol has been at the expense of democracy debate and contemporary and future focus. Audience reactions show that the majority are satisfied with the profile of the celebrations, only 9% believe it has been for past-oriented and too little marked by debate and criticism (7%). Meanwhile, several in the public debate pointed out that the current party political situation and the anchoring of the national commemorative program in the parliament (Stortinget), has contributed to a consensus characterized celebration. The challenges of internationalization and Norway's relations with the European Union for the Norwegian democracy were seldom discussed during the anniversary. An area where democracy has been focused is the celebration program for children and young people who were the main target group for the anniversary. The main part of the program was the website "My voice" aimed to help children and adolescents to expand their knowledge about democracy and democratic institutions.
We have no direct measurements of how the anniversary was received in the multicultural population. Our observation impressions suggest an under-representation in terms of participation at events. But there is reason to believe that this event was more inclusive than previous national markings. The major TV -productions, with very high ratings, had a profile that was adapted to a modern multicultural society.
Jubileumsfeiringer er komplekse fenomen. De har ofte en lang planleggingshorisont og opprinnelige intensjoner kan endre seg når de blir omsatt i konkrete arrangementer og hvilke minnefellesskap og hvilken identitetspolitikk som kommer ut av jubileet kan m an først si noe om når man har sett på publikums deltagelse og opplevelse av jubileumsarrangementene og jubileumsåret. Alle disse aspektene (intensjon, produksjon, resepsjon) vil være relevante for å forstå Grunnlovsjubileet 2014 som minnepolitikk:
-Jubi leets intensjoner: Hvilke forestillinger om Grunnloven og Grunnlovens betydning lå til grunn for jubileet? Hva var jubileets visjoner og sentrale målsetninger, slik de ble nedfelt i mandat, målsetninger og programplaner?
-Hvordan ble jubileet iscenesatt i form av arrangementer, lokalt, regionalt og nasjonalt? Hvor og når foregikk arrangementene, hvilke aktører deltok, hvilke budskap ble formidlet?
-Hvordan ble jubileumsprogrammet mottatt: hvor mange og hvem deltok i lokale, regionale og nasjonale arrangem enter? Hvordan opplevde de det som skjedde? Skjedde det endringer i jubileumsåret i kunnskap om og holdninger til Grunnloven og i forhold til nasjonal identitet? Hvordan ble jubileet omtalt og vurdert i media? Skapte jubileet offentlig debatt og i så fall om hvilke spørsmål?
For å kunne gå mer i dybden i analysen vil vi i tillegg til den mer generelle analysen, fokusere på følgende utvalgte tema og målgrupper:barn og ungdom, etniske minoriteter, religionens plass i jubileet