Fotogalleriet changes it's strategy to strengthen its social responsibility

In 2022, Fotogalleriet sets in action the amendments to the foundation's statutes to distribute power in leading positions and strengthen the foundation's responsibilities based on the diversity of its inhabitants. Revising the Fotogalleriet's by-law began as early as 2019, and from 2022 the board has been expanded to include two board members and two deputy members—both to ensure that the board reflects society and to strengthen Fotogalleriet's strategic work in the future.

Anne Szefer Karlsen, new board chair of Fotogalleriet, says:

It is a great honor to be promoted from board member to chair the Fotogalleriet's board. After a thorough process over several years, where we have consulted with key organizations such as Masahat and incredible partners such as TrAP (Transcultural Arts Production), we have finally come to a crossroads where Fotogalleriet takes a step into the future that reflects society and which both structurally and institutionally supports the vision to our artistic director Antonio Cataldo. I want to thank outgoing chairman Morten Andenæs for his outstanding collaboration. I look forward to continuing the collaboration with the Fotogalleriet's fantastic staff and getting to know the new board.


Chiara Ayad is Norwegian-Palestinian and was born and raised in the occupied West Bank. She is a consultant at the Norwegian Center for International Conflict Resolution (NOREF) and has five years of experience in research, dialogue and informal diplomacy with a focus on the Middle East. Among other things, she has worked for the Paris-based think tank Arab Reform Initiative, as a consultant for UN Women, and Qatar Debates, where she worked with young people from the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf. Chiara is also a board member of Masahat, an association that works to disseminate Arabic art, culture and political debate in Norway. She has a master's degree in International Security from Sciences Po Paris. Her interest and knowledge lies in young people's political involvement, art and culture, and women, peace and security.

Thora Dolven Balke is a co-founder of Agder Art Academy, an independent art school in Agder prison based on experimentation and independent thinking. The program matches the artistic standard of Norway's most prominent art schools, set by professional artists who are invited to teach and lecture in a wide range of fields based on their practice. Dolven Balke was one of two curators for the biennial Lofoten International Art Festival - LIAF - in 2011 and co-founded and programmed the artist-run space REKORD in Oslo from 2006 to 2010. In 2016, she participated in the Capacete program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil , and lives and works between there and Oslo, Norway. Her work has been part of exhibitions such as The Collectors, at the 53rd Venice Biennale.

Andreas Bennin has wide-ranging experience from management in the cultural sector, which among other things. a. producer, director and project manager in film, television and visual arts. A recurring theme for Bennin, in both his own art projects and otherwise in his professional work, is the relationship between the individual and the landscape he lives in and relates to, with a focus on social constructivism and ethics. He has a master's degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo (2012) in addition to studies in law, philosophy etc. from UiO. Bennin has previous board experience from, among others. a. the queer magazine BLIKK, and has been a deputy on the Photo Gallery's board in the period May 2019-May 2022.

Anne Szefer Karlsen is Professor of Curatorial Practice and Head of the Master's Program in Curatorial Practice at the Academy of Fine Arts, Faculty of Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen (2015–2027), and was Senior Adviser and Head of Research for Bergen Assembly (2018–2020) and head of Hordaland Art Center in Bergen (2008–2014). The fun fact about Anne is that she has a BA (Hons) Photography from the London College of Printing (1999) and a master's degree in photography from the Bergen Academy of the Arts (2001).

Nastaran Kowkabi is a socially engaged communications consultant with a heart for diversity and inclusion. Already as a 12-year-old, Nastaran gave his first speech on racism, inequality and inclusion in front of 700 people. On the other hand, Nastaran's interest in, and expertise in, diversity has permeated her work and commitment, both professionally and privately. In 2013, Nastaran started Norway's first Plus size blog and put body positivism on the agenda. In recent years, she has also been a clear voice in the news picture around topics that deal with body diversity, ethnicity and discrimination. With a bachelor's degree in marketing with specialization in PR and reputation building from Kristiania University College (2011 - 2014), Nastaran has gained extensive experience in the field of communication from Geelmuyden Kiese, Nordic Choice Hotels, Oslo Municipality, the diversity agency Vi er OSS and as a self-employed person.

Gabrielle Paré (she/her, b.1989 amiskwacîwâskahikan/Edmonton, Canada) lives and works in Oslo, Norway. Paré completed her MFA from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (2017) and BFA from the University of Alberta (2011). She has been artist-in-residence at international residency programs such as the Banff Centre, Fonderie Darling and PRAKSIS Oslo. Upcoming projects include group exhibitions Eating the Other, Cambridge Art Galleries, Canada (2022); Bygd til by, Vøienvolden Gård (2022) and a solo exhibition at Tenthaus Oslo (2025).

Lesia Vasylchenko (b. 1990 Kyiv, Ukraine) is an artist and curator based in Oslo. Vasylchenko is a co- curator of the artist-run gallery space Podium and a founder of STRUKTURA. Time, a cross-disciplinary initiative for research and practice within the framework of visual arts, media archaeology, literature, and philosophy. She holds a degree in Journalism from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and Fine Arts from Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Vasylchenko has been shown among others at Louvre Museum, Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Haugar Art Museum, Tønsberg; Tenthaus Gallery, Oslo; The Wrong New Digital Art Biennale.

Photo: Jannik Abel