by Siri Harr Steinvik Frøya summer resident
The high in the low,
and the low in the high
(Summer reading from Frøya, a short photo novel)
It’s a hot afternoon in the spacious office, in central Munich. He will soon take a summer holiday, but first, he must overlook that the start-up of the installation of the Frøya wind farm is well underway. There has been a lot of noise and conflict, but finally, they are nearing completion: Completion of the wind industry area – quay facilities that must be properly scaled, power cables in place, cutting through the bedrock for wide transport, wells for anchoring wind turbines, mounting spaces for each turbine, rearing of the enormous elements from the harbor to installation on the facility – or “park” as they have now renamed it. – Sounds better, right? Now they have completed the facility, as close as the elements that come in and will be put together these days, and they have also put up signs that say it is forbidden to travel inside the park – they have their legal work tight. The Vestas turbines that will be launched will rise 180 meters from the flat landscape and catch the wind like white sails towards the Atlantic horizon – it will look great in photos for further marketing of Stadtwerke München in Germany.
But it is not certain that Trønder Energi will find value in holding this flag so high, that much is clear.
Now it will soon be a long, well-deserved vacation with the family. It will not be an Italian holiday this year, as we usually do. Not holiday in Norway either, God forbid! We start with hiking in the Bavarian Alps – chemically free of wind industry, mind you – and the second part of the holiday we will relax on the old family estate in the Rhine Valley where we always receive friends and family in late summer. It’s going to be a really good holiday now, I know, it’s been an emergency in so many ways over the last year, so the batteries are ready for charging, that is for sure. By the way, met the mayor yesterday at an event and got a good pat on the back – this goes our way, and the city’s way finally – we stay within the green goals. Well blown, I must say, haha. Well, we must have faith in progress. How else would it go? Ah, I think I’m taking the day now; Tesla is waiting and I want to go to the mountains and get body and soul restored. It’s going to be great.
We are banished to a small turning point at the top of the hillside in Skarsvågen at 5 o’clock in the morning. If we go from here and out on the road, we will be reported, the police said. The two giant trucks with one driver in front and one behind each, are down the hill with the solid heavy wind turbine elements, 130 tons per transport.
The young policewomen look after us as they themselves were taken care of in the kindergarten, as most of us had children there at the time. It is humiliating, and the mind rages quietly inside. I see it in the body language of the other yellow shirts that they feel the same way; we feel trapped, but we never give up. I sit down in the flowering heather in the road ditch and get the camera angle from there, from below, from the moss and the lichens perspective, the lowest of the low.
The first two groups that were stationed along the road were allowed to walk slowly in front of the turbine transport, but the last groups that came closer to the target in Nessadalen where the wind turbines are to be installed were eaten away by the fact that now you have demonstrated enough, and that consideration for legal business now must also be taken. People were upset, they had a right that they did not get.
Creatures from the underground is in place tonight. It is the most beautiful Frøya night ever, they say, in bright pastels and with glorious night sun and troll mist everywhere. Nature shows up. Frøya has adorned herself with light fog and haze in the beautiful play of color and light and the wildflowers glow in lush clusters while the water in the scales reflects the beautiful sky – like a bride wearing the most beautiful dress with light veils over before she gets married, even when it is against her will. For that, it is: Against her will.
He was on his way to study at Orkdal National High School, around 1950. The boy packed his things out of the boat. The “Frøya suitcase”, as they called the cardboard box with a rope around it. It was easy to see which travelers came from the far end of the ocean. He was ashamed but walked with his back straight.
This boy would later become a history teacher at the same school, he would become my father, and he would tell me about how the inland culture and the coastal culture have had different status throughout, but that the coastal people always manage, that they cling like lichen and moss on the rock at all times. People have lived here for 11,000 years, in this barren landscape where frugality has been a virtue for survival.
Dad told about how one of his uncles sat in a white tent on the marsh bank and played the accordion wearing a white suit, while the rest worked down the peat bog, wet and dirty, taking out fuel, what they needed, the rest was allowed to be. Then I imagine that dad takes his dad with him and that they sit on either side of the driveway to “Shame park” on Frøya and play together on the violin, and maybe they start with “Who can sail without wind”.
Who blew up the mountain? Who sold the wind? Who is playing God with our nature? Who plays god – not with marbles – but with lego bricks from the Danish Vestas, “Made in China”, of toxic materials, with power-intensive industry, transported on ships and cars on hard diesel, elements that can never be recycled, only burned or buried. Who has such arrogance, which is now to fall? I am convinced that no one in their full senses, with their hand on their heart, thinks this is okay.
Come yourself, then you can see it!
Come here now!