Erik Werenskiold, Preliminary sketch for illustration for Jonas Lie, “The Family at Gilje” (detail), København, 1903-1904
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Dag A. Ivarsøy


The exhibition “My Life! My Choice?” presents a selection of Erik Werenskiold’s illustrations for Jonas Lie’s novel The Family at Gilje, along with new works by contemporary artists Hanne Lydia Opøien Figenschou and Gelawesh Waledkhani.

These texts present a variety of perspectives on the themes of the exhibition. From their various vantage points, the authors draw parallels between The Family at Gilje and contemporary life and explore the novel’s enduring relevance.

Shazia Majid – Women in Our Time
Majid uses her own family history as a starting point for reflections on immigration and integration from a feminist perspective. She draws parallels between immigrant women and the women in The Family at Gilje.

Ask Stenseth-Kilstad – Watch Me Fight, Watch Me Cry, Watch Me Laugh, Let Me Dare
Stenseth-Kilstad’s personal and poetic text offers a glimpse of what it is like to struggle against norms and to be at the mercy of other people’s gaze and prejudices. To stand up for the right to be oneself.

Cathrine Jacobsen – To Draw a Text
Jacobsen writes about the relationship between text and image. She focuses on a selection of Werenskiold’s illustrations, several of which feature in the exhibition.

Pinar Tank - From "Familien på Gilje" to the Syrian Kurdish women’s struggle for autonomy
Tank gives us an insight into the struggle of female soldiers in the Syrian-Kurdish areas and draws parallels between their choices and the choices that the women in "The Family on Gilje" face.


Dunya Mina Yosufazi - The Art of Being a Woman
Yosufazi gives us a personal insight where she draws parallels between the exhibition “My Live! My Choice?”, well known female figures in literature, and the situation of women in Afghanistan under the Taliban.


In these texts the authors express their personal opinions.