84: Living in Norway as a Russian in 2024

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Life in Norway Show Episode 84: Today’s guest is Anna Kross, a landscape architect who works with the design of common spaces in the Oslo region.

But the reason Anna is on the show today is to tell her story of relocation from Russia, and what it’s been like living in Norway as a Russian over the last few years.

Oslo Opera House and The Scandinavian Model logo.

We talk about how the current situation in the world has driven Anna and her friends to start a podcast explaining the Nordic model to Russians, not because that is the solution but to show that there are other ways.

We also talk about the experience of voting for the first time, and the relationship between Russians and Ukrainians in Norway.

Listen to the show

You can listen to the show using the web player below, or on your podcast player of choice. This includes: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify. Simply search for ‘Life in Norway' on your platform of choice to get started.

I have stopped publishing the podcast on the Life in Norway YouTube channel, as I’m focusing on building up an audience for videos there. Let me know if you prefer listening to podcasts on YouTube and I’ll see what I can do!

Wherever you listen, don't forget to hit ‘subscribe' so you don't miss a future episode.

Introducing Anna

Anna moved to Finland to study environmental sciences, before studying landscape architecture in Norway.

On the show, she speaks frankly about her experiences of living in Norway, especially over the last few years since Russia's place in the world fundamentally changed.

Anna explains the complex relationship between Ukrainian refugees and Russians living in Norway, including the choice of language to use.

Russia and the Nordic model

Together with some Russian friends, Anna has started a Russian language podcast to explain the Nordic model, and what could be done in the country in a post-Putin world.

They discuss how society is organised, and basic building blocks of the Nordic model such as unemployment benefits.

Anna explains who the podcast is for: “Our focus group is people in Russia who want another Russia, not the Russia of 2024. But they don't really know what kind of Russia it could be. They are really interested in the rest of the world, but they are now blocked from it because of the sanctions.”

Anna also created this YouTube video to document her experience of voting for the first time. “Democracy is not about pink clouds and ice-cream, it's hard work and you really need to be fully involved in it,” she said.

Links from the show

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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