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Solveig Korum

PhD Candidate

BA European Studies, University of Oslo/Caen (2003-2006)

MA in African Studies, University of Oslo/ Dakar (2006-2007)

International Project Manager, Concerts Norway (2008-2016)

Senior Advisor, Arts for Young Audiences Norway (2017-present)

Academic interests

Music and the Social, development discourse, multiagency, legitimation work


Born in 1984, I am currently a Doctoral Researcher at Agder University, Faculty of Fine Arts.

For the past decade, I have worked as a project manager and Head of International Projects in Concerts Norway (now Kulturtanken, Arts for Young Audiences Norway), a government-run organization with its seat in Oslo. Kulturtanken/Rikskonsertene has for more than 20 years been a spearhead in the field of multicultural music programmes through collaboration with partners in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America. Long-term development programmes, financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have been conducted in 13 countries. Societal goals of these programmes include music for peace and reconciliation, music programmes for educational purposes, stimulation of local creative industries and more.

Having this experience from the praxis field, I do believe in the power of good music. Yet, I do not uncritically think that any music could fit any purpose of development. Neither do I believe in romantic ideas about music as a unilateral tool for positive change: There is no one-to-one relationship between musical activities and the stated purpose of cultural development projects. Hence, there is a need to understand the process of how these projects are initiated, how partners, government and artists work together to conceive and conduct the musical activities and how – and on which base – the activities are ultimately assessed and measured. With my research, I wish to map out what the donors and project actors know and think about music and how they eventually “translate” that into concrete development activities. I believe knowledge of that process will create useful insights for policy makers, donors and for the cultural actors themselves, so that musical activities with explicit development goals can be even better tailor-made for such purpose in the future. 

I have chosen two long running musical development projects in Palestine and Sri Lanka as my case studies. As per now, the following are my research questions: 

What are the main characteristics of these musical development projects (MDP)? How do the actors’ perceptions and discourses about music translate into programme activities for "nation building" (Palestine) or as a contribution to "peace and reconciliation" (Sri Lanka)? What link (if any) exists between the parties' (CN, local partners, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) interpretation of musical meaning and the reported deliverables of these projects?

Scientific publications

  • Korum, Solveig (2019). Bang Drums Until the Cement Softens. International music cooperation in Palestine..
  • Korum, Solveig (2019). Musikk og internasjonal bistand.
  • Korum, Solveig (2018). "Kulturbistand i blinde"- debattinnlegg (m.fl) på Verdidebatt.no.
  • Korum, Solveig (2018). 'Development Brokers or Cultural Translators? Analyzing the roles of intermediaries in a musical development project'.
  • Korum, Solveig (2018). Norsk kulturbistand før og nå (Jungeltelegrafen NRK P2).
  • Korum, Solveig (2017). Folk Music and Folk Music Dissemination.
  • Korum, Solveig (2017). Inaugural Speech. Training session on Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Research groups

Last changed: 21.06.2018 14:06