Eva Bakkeslett (NO)

Photo: J. Verpelstad

Rømmekolle Revival

Can the process of fermentation provide a model for re-imagining sustainable and thriving human cultures and inspire new ways of collaborating to cope with the many challenges we are now facing in the world?

Inspired by bacterial cultures and the process of fermentation, Eva Bakkeslett has been researching these questions through reviving the traditional, but rapidly vanishing, fermented milk culture rømmekolle that has roots in the Norwegian, Finnish and Sami cultures. This fermented milk is made from a bacterial culture that is said to originate from the plant Butterworth. The culture has been passed down through generations and generously shared amongst people till the 60-ies.

During Barents Spektakel 2015 Bakkeslett transforms the Seamen's Club, located in the centre of Kirkenes, into a café for cross-cultural and cross-generational exchange, social fermentation and rømmekolle sharing. The Rømmekolle Revival café is filled with plenty of revived and homemade rømmekolle to share and have a varied program of happenings from performance lectures, rømmekolle making demos, culture dialogues and a freshly made rømmekolle radio to a rømmekolle button making table and a live bacterial culture display …and maybe there will be a cow.

The rømmekolle served during Barents Spektakel 2015 is made with milk from Øverli Farm in Pasvik. The furniture and utensils in the café have been lent by Fretex Salvation Army and are for sale during the festival.

Eva Bakkeslett is an artist and cultivator. Through a combination of film and social sculpture she unites nature and culture, people and crafts. She reveals and reclaims forgotten or rejected practices, concepts and cultures to redirect our attention to new stories that challenge our thinking and inspires and engages us to see the patterns that connect us to the earth as a living organism.