Ice Road Muckers: Reality TV series following workers inside Mine 7 debuts  Feb. 27; special screening at Huset on Tuesday

Ice Road Muckers: Reality TV series following workers inside Mine 7 debuts Feb. 27; special screening at Huset on Tuesday

The show’s intent is to “help television viewers gain an insight into the daily life of Longyearbyen” – but in this instance it may be a look at the last workers in a More »

Chamber spot: Svalbard’s first classical music festival brings ‘music of friends’ to historic and new performance sites

Chamber spot: Svalbard’s first classical music festival brings ‘music of friends’ to historic and new performance sites

A few hours after people in Longyearbyen experienced their first hour of sunlight in nearly four months, Tim Weiss promised a small group of them “you will get tired of the sun” More »

Two 18-year-olds suspected of stealing snowmobile while drunk captured after police chase using snowmobiles, helicopter

Two 18-year-olds suspected of stealing snowmobile while drunk captured after police chase using snowmobiles, helicopter

Two men suspected of stealing a snowmobile while drunk early Sunday morning were captured several hours apart by police who chased them using snowmobiles and a helicopter, according to The Governor of More »

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 13, 2018

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 13, 2018

The ratio of foreign residents to Norwegians continues to increase in Longyearbyen; Norway’s trade minister is seeking input about Longyearbyen’s economic future when he visits Monday; tourism was flat in 2017 but More »

Abandon all hope: Svalbard’s 10 biggest stories of 2017

Abandon all hope: Svalbard’s 10 biggest stories of 2017

We’re not going to spin it: the year known as 2017 was a disaster – literally. An avalanche early on shook the community and its leaders to its foundations, climate change inflicted More »

 

Ice Road Muckers: Reality TV series following workers inside Mine 7 debuts Feb. 27; special screening at Huset on Tuesday

mine7tv

The show’s intent is to “help television viewers gain an insight into the daily life of Longyearbyen” – but in this instance it may be a look at the last workers in a century-old way of life that is rapidly dying out.

A 10-episode reality show titled “Kompani Spitsbergen” is scheduled to debut on TV2 Nov. 27, with a free local advance screening of the first episode scheduled at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Huset.

“In the series we follow a tight group of miners,” a press release for the series notes. “They have different backgrounds, motivations, dreams and challenges both during the working day and in private. Each of them has a story – a story about what led them to Svalbard as miners.”

“We get to know a small group of people, where good friendship and loyalty can really mean the difference between life and death. The miners share their weekdays with hobbies, adventure, polar bears, friendship, girlfriends and heartbreak.”

Seven miners are featured, ranging from mine manager Per Nilssen, 50, (“knowing that the coal industry in Norway is facing an uncertain future, Per tries to keep the motivation of his workers up”) to “green helmet” rookie Adrian, 26, (“he left his girlfriend in Drammen for excitement as a miner and we will follow his first trip into the mine”).

The series was filmed and produced during a period of several months by Novemberfilm. Geir Kreken, director of the series, told Svalbardposten there were numerous technical challenges filming the miners at work.

“It was cramped, dark, dusty and technically demanding to film,” he said. “We had to develop some clever solutions where we wrapped a camera in plastic wrap to protect against the coal dust. It actually went surprisingly well. A mine is a demanding environment for the equipment and those who work there.”

Those working at Mine 7 – a relatively small group of a few dozen people, compared to the hundreds that worked larger Norwegian-owned mines in Svalbard before they were permanently shut down recently – have been the subject of numerous media articles and short documentary films during the past few years. There have also been numerous requests by TV and other filmmakers for a more in-depth project, but Nilssen told Svalbardposten the concept pitched by other companies didn’t ring true.

“The reason we chose to say yes to Novemberfilm and TV2 was, first of all, that we were sure they would tell our story as we experience it,” he said. “We have had the impression that some other TV companies we have had contact with wanted to produce mining as something extremely dangerous and play up the safety aspects of the profession.”

Chamber spot: Svalbard’s first classical music festival brings ‘music of friends’ to historic and new performance sites

mine7concert

A few hours after people in Longyearbyen experienced their first hour of sunlight in nearly four months, Tim Weiss promised a small group of them “you will get tired of the sun” within minutes.

The declaration/warning preceded a performance of the Swedish modern classical composition “Sun Song” during the inaugural four-day Arctic Chamber Music Festival that ended Sunday. Weiss, a conductor from the U.S., said the Friday night performance reflected what he perceives as a local love/hate relationship with the sun.

Two 18-year-olds suspected of stealing snowmobile while drunk captured after police chase using snowmobiles, helicopter

husettheft

Two men suspected of stealing a snowmobile while drunk early Sunday morning were captured several hours apart by police who chased them using snowmobiles and a helicopter, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 13, 2018

svalbardpostenbriefs021318

The ratio of foreign residents to Norwegians continues to increase in Longyearbyen; Norway’s trade minister is seeking input about Longyearbyen’s economic future when he visits Monday; tourism was flat in 2017 but expected to rise in 2018 in part due to new hotels.

Abandon all hope: Svalbard’s 10 biggest stories of 2017

topstoriescovers

We’re not going to spin it: the year known as 2017 was a disaster – literally.

An avalanche early on shook the community and its leaders to its foundations, climate change inflicted maybe its most humiliating impact on us yet, Barentsburg suffered through two fatal crashes and the hope of some kind of future in terms of Store Norske’s coal mines suffered a death far more painful than even the most pessimistic envisioned.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Jan. 30, 2018

pizzafire

Record number of fire alarms; kitchen fires a particular concern
The Longyearbyen Department received a record 187 alarms during 2017, 15 of which were fires or ignitions. Of those, 11 were due to “dry cooking,” which often happens late at night when intoxicated people fall asleep while cooking.

Lights out: Ultra-rare ‘super blue blood moon’ will be even more remarkable in Longyearbyen with a midday occurrence

raremoon

It’s a cosmic trifeca that makes “once in a blue moon” seem relatively common. And Longyearbyen residents will be in even more rarified company as some of the very few people on Earth able to see it in the middle of the day on Wednesday.

Random weirdness for the week of Jan. 23, 2018

filmfest

This week’s madness is a madcap movie marathon, beginning with what is currently the world’s northernmost film festival. The nine occupants of the Bjørnøya Meteorological Station gathered last weekend for the 5th annual BØFF (Bjørnøya Filmfestival), watching five movies during a two-day period.

How a flea makes a plea: Saturday rummage sale to benefit Longyearbyen Mixed Choir’s performance of ‘Requiem’

salepreview

It’s come to this, either for the concert leaders or the musicians: hoping enough folks will pay a few kroner for a saucepan or old cassette tapes (but there should be at least a couple of devices that can play them) to ensure those performing a full-fledged local version of Mozart’s “Requiem” next month get their just due.

Stage of majority: 21st annual Polarjazz festival features all non-jazz lineup (but plenty of musicans who’ve played it)

lastact

It’s hardly unusual for a jazz festival to be notably lacking its namesake genre in order to draw enough of a crowd to be commercially viable. Yet the world’s northernmost jazz festival usually features at least one or two bands devoted to some form of jazz –but ended up busting out for its “lucky 21” anniversary.