Pride and Prejudice is the most comprehensive exhibition on queer cultural history in Norway to date, and was central to the National Library’s program for Queer Cultural Year in 2022 (“Skeivt kulturår 2022”). Snøhetta developed the exhibition design in close collaboration with the National Library of Norway.
2022 marked the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of loving who you want. Specifically, it’s 50 years since Norwegian law section 213 was repealed in April 1972. The exhibition Pride and Prejudice – Queer Stories from the Collection provided insight into queer liberation struggles and lives in Norway through material from the National Library and the National Archives, spanning from several centuries until today.
The National Library did extensive work for more than a year to map material related to the exhibition theme with appointed curator and author Bjørn Hatterud. The exhibition was not a linear, complete or chronological story, but rather showed a myriad of odd stories from different times and different parts of the collection of material.
With more than 400 books, magazines, newspaper clippings, letters, manuscripts, diaries, sketches, pictures, films, melodies, video and audio recordings, Pride and Prejudice is the most widespread exhibition that has been set up at the National Library. The material provides various insights into how Norwegian society has behaved towards queer love, and how this attitude has changed and developed over time.
The temporary nature of the exhibition demands a particularly strong focus on sustainability. By primarily choosing scaffolding, textile banners and constructions in Re-board corrugated board, we created an exhibition that is widely recyclable.
The vast amount of objects and broad variation of sizes and shapes also made the flexibility of materials a central element. Different qualities of the textile banners contribute to the richness of the experience by adding transparency and a custom visual backdrop for each of the thematic hubs in the exhibition. The strong and varied coloristic design gives life to the exhibits and contrasts the older material in a respectful but playful way.