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22/7: The strangest (newspaper) memorial and a heart-warming social media campaign

Yesterday marked the two-year anniversary of the twin terror attack that killed 77 people in Oslo and on Utöya in 2011.

The terror of that day still feels unfathomable, surreal. To some extent, more so now than when the terrible events of the day way were unfolding. In the earlyish hours of the aftermath in 2011, at noon-time Saturday 23/7, I summed up some of the very early impressions for this newspaper analysis.

Today, there’s so much to say, and yet a few media-related things stand out amid all the things that feel too much to go into right now (the terrible losses, the slow progress of improving national security, the difficulties in preventing lone-wolf terrorism, all the implications etc):

  • The strangest newspaper memorial

For close to two years I’ve frequently walked past the strangest of 22/7-memorials.

In the mentioned analysis-piece I detail how huge sections of the glass wall of Norwegian newspaper VG, the one facing the Government headquarters where the bomb went off, shattered on 22/7.

What I didn’t mention was VG’s newspaper display stand, also facing the bomb site, which was just partially broken.

And for close to two years, until the end of last month, this damaged display stand, with the morning edition of VG on the 22 July - before the innocence of that warm summer day had been shattered – stood right outside VG’s main entrance.  

The broken display stand is a strange record of a morning of summer bliss and innocent silly season news that just barely survived the impact of the bomb blast, a moment of "normalcy", before all hell broke loose, frozen in time. And it remained there outside the newspaper entrance for close to two years:

Reminding every visitor of Norway’s most read newspaper for the last two years of that morning before those dreadful events and what happened later that day. A fact that is even more strange keeping in mind how newspapers dislike old news.


At the end of June though, the display stand was temporarily moved across the street, closer to the ghost-like bomb-site and its bombed-out buildings which loom as another strange, uncomfortable kind of memorial of 22/7.

The newspaper display stand will however be removed permanently and turned into an art project, you can hear more about that (in English) in this video (if you skip the ad at the beginning).  

Photos by me, snapped with my mobile phone camera

  • A heart warming social media campaign

Logging on to Twitter last morning I was met by the hash tag #Venn22Juli (or #Friend22July ) – a bunch of Norwegian Twitterati offering people in need of it a friend, a coffee, a beer, someone to talk to, companionship during one of the many 22 July commemorations etc yesterday. Neat.

However, although I found room for some valuable reflections and briefely catching up with the various 22 July commemorations yesterday, I was busy with other stuff and generally find myself listening more than talking and participating online right now.

Still, I saw lots of talk about 22 July, lots of expressions of grief, offers of support etc on Twitter and Facebook – I didn’t see one 22 July-related story on Google+ yesterday.

That is kind of interesting, as 22 July was THE terror attack where G+ first made a difference and came into the limelight.

For my own part, the photos I took of all that shattered glass after the bomb went off was automatically uploaded to G+ from my Android phone, resulted in lots of media queries and I remember lots and lots of discussions about 22/7 in its immediate aftermath on G+.


Now? I wonder…. Though it’s perhaps one of the least important puzzles regarding 22/7, I’m still curious as to what that implies for Google+...


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