Norway

Hannah Ryggen: Woven Histories

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Representing Norway at the Paris World Fair in 1937, where Pablo Picasso first showed “Guernica”, was the artist Hannah Ryggen, with her 1935 tapestry “Ethiopia”. The two works were exhibited next to each other in the pavilion of the Spanish Republic — Picasso’s cry of anguish against the Nazi bombing of the city in the Spanish Civil War, Ryggen’s epic heartfelt response to fascist Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia, with a bullet-headed Mussolini speared by an African fighter (folded over by the fair’s organisers to avoid offending the Italian government).

Trotsky in Norway

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Leon Trotsky and his wife, fellow revolutionary Natalia Sedova, arrived in Norway in June 1935 after their supporters persuaded the newly-elected Norwegian Labour government to give them asylum.

They came from France where the Popular Front government and trade union leaders were trying to control the rising tide of militancy and wanted Trotsky out of the way.

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