I grew up in Western Norway and moved east when I started school. I have always been rootless and moved further and further north; first to Trondheim, where I got my degree in journalism, then onwards to Bodø, a small city on 67 degrees north. I live here with my 17-year old daughter, a partner and our dog of Podengo Portuguese breed.
Only when I arrived in Bodø did I feel, for the first time in my life, that I had come “home”. The weather, the wind, the sea, the mountains, the people, the northern lights and the midnight sun – no two days were the same.
During the first years I worked for the local newspaper with investigative journalism, in particular focusing on health. However, when I was offered a job as News Editor of High North News, a brand new world opened up.
Through all my life, I have been above average engaged with and interested in society, however, it did not take long before I had to acknowledge how little I knew about the High North and the Arctic. My most important goal for the past year has been to have “people like me” take an interest in and engage with issues related to politics, climate and community north of the Arctic Circle.
My learning curve was steep, yet also great fun:
- I saw with my own eyes the remarkable speech Mike Pompeo delivered on the day before the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Rovaniemi last May.
- And had to realize that 2019 was the first year in history in which the Arctic Council was unable to agree on a joint declaration as the USA blocked the climate issues, which the other countries wanted to include.
- I had to rub my eyes when I saw the news that Donald Trump wanted to buy Greenland. I was fascinated by John Kerry’s historic speech during the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik.
- I cried from joy when “my city”, Bodø, in August 2019 was announced to be the European Capital of Culture 2024.
- I have been able to follow Norwegian Hilde Fålun Strøm and Canadian Sunniva Sørby through their wintering in a small trappers’ cabin 130 kilometers south of Longyearbyen, Svalbard.
- And recently I took a deep dive into the 100 year-old history of the Svalbard Treaty.
The Arctic is no longer something distant and intangible for me. The Arctic is that small company in Sortland exporting fish balls to China. The Arctic is all the students at Nord University who do not find good enough reasons to remain in Northern Norway upon completing their studies. The Arctic is large urban cities and small indigenous communities. The Arctic is the center of attention of the world’s superpowers. And it is the area in the world that is affected the most by climate change. In other words; a journalist covering the Arctic will not be unemployed anytime soon…
If you would like to learn more about me or get in contact with me:
High North News, is an international online newspaper covering politics, business, climate and society in the Arctic – as seen from Bodø, Norway. We publish news articles, long form stories and op-eds in Norwegian and English. Every Friday, we send out our newsletter summarizing the past week. Signup on our web pages.
Select Publication List:
Tømmerbakke, Siri Gulliksen. 2020. “The Svalbard Treaty 100 Years: A Journal from ‘Terra Nullius’ to ‘All man’s land’.” High North News, 31 January. https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/svalbard-treaty-100-years-journey-terra-nullius-all-mans-land.
Tømmerbakke, Siri Gulliksen. 2019. “Hilde and Sunniva to Celebrate Christmas at 78 Degrees North.” High North News, 13 December. https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/hilde-and-sunniva-celebrate-christmas-78-degrees-north.
Tømmerbakke, Siri Gulliksen. 2019. “The Town of Bodø Could be the First Arctic European Capital of Culture.” High North News, 19 September. https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/town-bodo-could-be-first-arctic-european-capital-culture.
Tømmerbakke, Siri Gulliksen. 2019. “Former US Secretary of State John Kerry Declares New World War Against Climate Deniers.” High North News, 14 October. https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/former-us-secretary-state-john-kerry-declares-new-world-war-against-climate-deniers.
Tømmerbakke, Siri Gulliksen. 2019 “Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump wants to purchase Greenland from Denmark.” High North News, 17 August.https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/wall-street-journal-donald-trump-wants-purchase-greenland-denmark.
Tømmerbakke, Siri Gulliksen and Martin Breum. 2019. “Did Not Manage to Agree: First Ever Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting Without Joint Declaration.” High North News , 7 May. https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/first-ever-arctic-council-ministerial-meeting-without-joint-declaration.