[CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT ★★]
“SLOW TV” BECOMING POPULAR IN NORWAY
(P1) Norway’s public service broadcaster, which screened a 12-hour programme showing a fire burning and another of a JUMPER being KNITTED, has announced plans for its next slow TV hit – a reindeer MIGRATION.
(P2) Producers at NRK are searching for a family from Norway’s INDIGENOUS Sami people willing to be filmed on their annual task of HERDING thousands of reindeer 350 miles from the Finnmark TUNDRA, in the far north-east of the country, to their summer PASTURES near Hammerfest, with footage broadcast in real time.
(P3) “It might be boring at times, but live reindeer migration is HARDCORE slow TV,” said Thomas Hellum, an NRK producer.
(P4) The project is a COLLABORATION between NRK’s slow TV department and the Sami programming division.
(P5) “It’s an opportunity to give the rest of the country a greater understanding of our culture,” said Ole Rune Hatta, of NRK Sami. “There has traditionally been conflict between Norwegians and Sami people over land, so this is a way to BUILD BRIDGES. Our way of life is pretty ALIEN to most Norwegians – Oslo is closer to London than it is to the Sami capital, Karasjok – so we want to bring our culture to a wider audience.”
(P6) Producers are in talks with Sami families willing to share their experiences, but the plan is not without challenges. “Filming so far north is a problem because we won’t have great satellite connections and keeping a camera STABLE while it’s being DRAGGED by SLEIGH is difficult – one bump and we’re DONE FOR,” said Hellum.
(P7) Because the CREW will be moving CONSTANTLY, everything must be wireless. “Oh, and we also don’t know when the migration will happen – it’s usually late April or early May, but dates VARY depending on the weather and the reindeer’s mood. Apparently the animals know when it’s time to move so the herders work with them. It’s basically a TV commissioners’ NIGHTMARE,” he said.
(P8) Fortunately, NRK is flexible and prepared to clear the schedules with a week’s notice. Hellum is planning a TRIAL RUN next spring with a view to broadcasting the migration live in 2017.
(P9) Slow TV has been a big hit in Norway since 2009, when NRK aired the view from a seven-hour train journey to an audience of millions. Since then, it has filmed the HORIZON from a CRUISE SHIP (earning a 34% audience share), screened the 12-hour show about fire, and 24 hours of salmon fishing.
(P10) “People want to get back to nature and they’re searching for a slower PACE of life,” said Hellum of the surprising success of the GENRE. “There’s something special about live, slow TV. It’s like: ‘I wonder what’s going to happen next?’ The answer is: ‘Probably nothing.’ But you never know!”
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Would you watch Slow TV, or would you find it too boring?
- Why might people want to slow down these days?
- What is your favorite activity when you really want to relax?
- The Sami are an ethnic minority group in the north of Norway. Are there any ethnic minority groups in your country? Are their rights protected?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Build bridges
- Done for
- Trial run
- Cruise ship