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Norwegian Keychange Week

Keychange along with partners Oslo World, and collaborators Balansekunst, are proud to announce an expansion of the Keychange movement in Norway.

20 Norwegian organisations have now signed the Keychange gender pledge, including 11 new additions of some of the most influential festivals and organisations in the country: Cosmopolite, Festspillene i Bergen, Førdefestival, Kongsbergjazz, Melafestivalen, Miniøya, Moldejazz, Nasjonal jazzscene, Nordic Black Theatre, Norsk Jazzforum and Rabalderfestivalen. These organisations have signed the Keychange gender equality pledge towards achieving 50% representation of women and under-represented genders. Find all of the Norwegian Keychange signatories here.

Furthermore, Mari Boine, a music icon who has inspired indigenous artists and has touched people’s minds, souls and hearts the world over, Samsaya, and AURORA have been announced as Norwegian Keychange Ambassadors.

“Creating awareness, finding new solutions together and committing to a better balance in the music industry will not only make it richer in perspective, experience and knowledge it will be more innovative and engaging. Intersectional gender equality requires that we all do the work and become aware of our own privileges. Knowing my own has made me more aware of what I can do in my corner of the world.”

Samsaya, Keychange ambassador

During the this week, Oslo World will share tips and statistics related to gender equality and diversity in the sector. On Thursday 11 February, at 13.00, Oslo World, Keychange and Balansekunst, arrange a digital panel on digitization and diversity in the music industry.

In times of pandemic, the internet has become the sometimes only battle field for musicians around the world. With festivals cancelled, venues closed and almost no live concerts, online platforms have become an artist's window for interacting with an audience.

The digitalisation of the music industry has been going on since the 90s, but the pandemic triggered an urgent need of accelerating this process, regardless if you like it or not.Since its beginning, the digital transformation promised new avenues for the economic empowerment of women and gender minorities as it could contribute to greater gender equality both for artists, culture workers and audiences.

It is time to ask ourselves: Is digitalisation a way of "undermining" traditional gatekeepers of the music industry ? How has the internet allowed new ways of accessing the music industry? Is digitalisation a path for gender equality and diversity? And is the increasing digitisation shifting the cultural canon or simply reinforcing it?

Research shows that algorithms carry bias (Examples: Ruha Benjamin, Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, Safiya Umoja Noble, Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, Rachel Thomas, Getting Specific About Algorithmic Bias, etc.). As technology is built by humans, it will also mimic our prejudices. Technological biases can not only reinforce but further exacerbate societal malices such as racism and sexism. How can the music industry be more balanced in this context? How does it affect musicians?


Tune in via the Keychange Facebook page here.

Keychange is a pioneering international initiative which transforms the future of music by encouraging festivals and music organisations to achieve at least 50% women and under-represented genders in their programming, staffing and beyond. 74 emerging artists and innovators each year from across Europe and Canada will take part in international festivals, showcase events, collaborations and a programme of creative labs. Keychange aims to accelerate change and create a better, more inclusive music industry for present and future generations.

"For Oslo World, working for the greatest possible diversity, whether we are talking about gender, genre and origin, is at the heart of the festival. Our job is in many ways to level out this landscape, and in that way expand what both the audience and artists think is possible. In the long run, increased diversity on stage is an investment in a larger, more varied audience and in a larger influx of interesting artists. Even though Oslo World has worked tireless for a greater balance since its very beginning it is hard to change the bigger picture on our own. That is why we are a partner festival in Keychange. ”

Alexandra Archetti Stølen, CEO, Oslo World

Keychange encourages all music organisations, festivals, venues, broadcasters, agencies and beyond to take the Keychange Pledge and to work towards a representative music industry. Join the Keychange Pledge at keychange.eu.

Keychange is led by Reeperbahn Festival, PRS Foundation and Musikcentrum Öst, supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, in partnership with Tallinn Music Week, Iceland Airwaves, BIME, Oslo World, Linecheck/Music Innovation Hub, Ireland Music Week, SACEM, Sound City, Way Out West, Spring Break, MaMA Festival, MUTEK and Breakout West.

In Norway the project is supported by Talent Norge og Norsk Tipping.

Listen to the Norwegian Keychange artists on Spotify here and on SoundCloud here.

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