Learning Democracy at Utøya

What does democracy mean for you?
What are challenges and threats to democracy today?
How can you engage in democracy?

Today, Utøya is an international meeting place for people to meet, learn, exchange experiences, discuss, agree and disagree.

Utøya – a place for commemoration, learning and engagement

On 22 July 2011, a right-wing Norwegian extremist killed 69 people at Utøya in Norway, most of them young people attending the Norwegian Labour Party Youth’s summer camp. The terrorist asserted that people with different cultural backgrounds cannot coexist in a society and promoted the conspiracy theory that Europe is slowly taken over by the Arabic world.

Today, Utøya carries a strong testimony of why values such as tolerance, equality and diversity cannot be taken for granted, but need to be promoted and practiced in everyday life. For this to happen there need to be more places for people to meet, not less.

Since 22 July 2011 Utøya has been rebuilt as a commemoration- and learning center, balancing the need to commemorate and the need for new life, learning and engagement for a more inclusive, democratic society.

The European Wergeland Centre – Educating for Democracy and Human Rights

The European Wergeland Centre (EWC) is a resource centre on education for intercultural understanding, human rights and democratic citizenship EWC’s main aim is to strengthen the capacity of individuals, educational institutions and educational systems to build and sustain a culture of democracy and human rights.

Utøya and the EWC have cooperated since 2016 on establishing a national learning programme at Utøya. Today, we are also cooperating on international projects, such as The Thorvald Stoltenberg Seminar

In addition, the European Wergeland Centre has international projects with seminars on Utøya.