The Mormor Monologues

February 9, 2014

In Norwegian, the word “mormor” means grandmother. The stereotype is of an acquiescent Scandinavian female who enjoys quiet passivity, who gives advice to the children and grandchildren gently, and takes her place in the back seat of life without question.

However, a new project called The Mormor Monologues has set out to “challenge the idea and cultural construction of the old woman.”

Elyse Schmidt recently spotlighted this collection of oral histories from mormors on her blog and provides a link to the project itself, which was created by a young woman named Karoline Hjorth. (There’s also a link to the project below.)

Karoline is a photographer/journalist and is half of the team behind the mind-blowing art installation, Eyes as Big as Plates. The other artist/creator of that project is Ritta Ikonen.

In The Mormor Monologues, Karoline uses videos (with subtitles) of women elders giving short oral histories. To read an interview with Karoline Hjorth learn more about why she’s doing this work, visit Senior Planet.

For a look at the mormor videos and other aspects of the project, visit The Mormor Monologues. I recommend clicking on one name at a time at the bottom of the home page and not going to the Gallery which, while beautifully made, takes an awfully long time to load, at least it does on this computer out here in the sticks with the interference of wild geese overhead and cables traveling underneath the river, etc. You might have better luck than I.

I appreciate the fact that Karoline Hjorth wants to use art and video to relocate these women to a place of esteem. I haven’t watched all of the videos yet, but this is my favorite one so far.

Many thanks to Elyse Schmidt, a lovely woman over at My Silver Age, for her blog post that led me to this interesting collection of oral histories.

Mia_Berner.feat_Mia Berner is one of the mormors featured. She’s a sociologist, journalist, psychologist, translator, and more.

5 Responses to “The Mormor Monologues”

  1. Heide Hendrick Says:

    I just went to the website you posted Andrea-what a fantastic project! I love this <3. It is so vitally important. Thank you for sharing.


  2. Kim Patton Says:

    Being a mormor is probably not in my future, but if it was, I’d want to be one of these.


  3. Ketzel Levine Says:

    Berit As’s Master Suppression Techniques are brilliant. Thanks for the intro. xo

    Sent while awkwardly mobile.


  4. Pene Fedro Says:

    Thanks for putting me onto this site. Love those no nonsense women.


  5. This is very interesting and important. I will take the time to watch the rest of the videos, and look up the work of these women. I found Ingjald’s “Master Suppression Techniques” to be sobering, useful to identify in the way she does. There is so much good work out there in the world. Thank you for searching out and sharing so much of it with us. Now I depend on your blog not only to keep me abreast of Alice’s antic & stories, but to keep me connected with the important contributions of my fellow-ess beings, especially the human and artistic contributions.


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