Bringing the Past to Life in the Present
In September of 2019, the SCC opened a new exhibit “Living History and Nordic Identity: Bringing the Past to Life in the Present” based on KD Williams’ capstone project for her BA in Scandinavian Area Studies, which Dr. Schroeder supervised. The exhibit encouraged visitors to interact with conceptions of the past and Nordic identities by presenting KD Williams’ fieldwork with Viking Age and medievalist re-enactors. Groups that were featured in particular include the Glamfolk (known to SCC members for their booth in the Scandinavian Cultural Center at the Norwegian Heritage Festivals), The Northwest Viking Alliance, Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), Empire of Medieval Pursuits, and a couple international medievalist fighting groups including Historical Medieval Battles (HMB) and Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA). Her exhibit explored the ways that re-enactors use a variety of arts, crafts, fighting styles, lived experiences, and extensive experimental archeology projects to re-create and shape their sense of the historical Nordic world and their own Nordic identities. The galleries included displays of the results of many of these efforts with features on fighting and weaponry, armor, textile production, jewelry making and even blacksmithing. The exhibit encouraged visitors to touch and experience a wide variety of artifacts and materials so they too can have an immersive experience like those groups who are being featured. Additionally, a variety of local Nordic medievalist artisans had their works featured throughout the exhibit for all to enjoy as well.