To live on
The study of the survivors
What do we know about those who where affected after the 22th July?
Why was I one of the lucky ones? The government building complex still stirs painful memories. Something in my body tells me to get out of there. Run.
Regardless of how uncomfortable it is for the right to discuss 22 July, the alternative is much worse. For far too long, the Workers’ Youth League has stood alone in the face of hatred, threats and conspiracy theories.
I said to Bayan: We have two options. We live or we die. We either get through this and support our other two children who are here with us, or we bury ourselves in grief. We must keep on living for Bano's sake.
22 July is not an ace the Workers’ Youth League keeps up its sleeve. It is the trump card the rest of us can play against them so that we can continue to live under the illusion that everything is just like before.
Human costs after the bomb attack in the Government Quarter
Video recordings of personal testimony
Hi, I am 13 years old and as a Norwegian Muslim I feel like it is my fault. He says he killed everyone because I am here. Should I emigrate to protect Norwegian children in the future? That is how I feel. - Sophia.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s speech at Rådshusplassen in Oslo, 25 July 2011
I chose to become a teacher, teaching older children. To contribute to ensuring that this would never happen again. I did it for Anders, Gunnar, Simon, Johannes and all the others who did not get a chance to grow up. [...] The new curricula make it crystal clear that pupils must be equipped to learn and understand, but it is incredibly difficult to manage the legacy in a positive manner when the politicians fail to lead the way.
I was terrified of dying, but I was lucky. I've thought about it a lot afterwards. That's just the way we humans are – we think that we should have switched places with someone, or that it is unjust that someone else had to die.
Tore Remi | Personal testimonies
After 22 July, my engagement has almost become a fundamental part of my identity. What we are fighting for, for democracy and our free society, are some of the most important things in my life. [...] I almost feel obliged on behalf of those who are no longer here to carry on that fight.
The life after 22th of July- to get PTSD and become well again
I wish I had received more help from the municipal crisis team than just a conversation. [...] no one contacted us after the first week. We had to get help on our own, and we feel forgotten by the municipality.
Of course, the tragedy changes Norway, but it is our choice how Norway is going to change #osloexpl #utoya
It’s about people
It’s almost paradoxical. That those of us who were attacked for exercising our freedom of speech are constantly forced to respond to how our hard-earned experiences “threaten” other people’s freedom of speech.
Oslo Cathedral, Prime minister Jens Stoltenberg speech, 24 July 2011
Stories of those we lost
Of course there are things that affect you. The worst thing would have been if we hadn’t been there, but it’s hard to feel happy about saving lives when there are so many who died.
His Majesty King Harald speech, 23 July 2011
Memorial at the mosque in Åkebergveien, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, 26 July 2011
I am still tired. But I am done moderating myself. Because I am angry. Furious actually. At a society that has allowed right-wing extremism and Breivik’s mindset more, not less, opportunity to cause harm.
I know several people who are in and out of psychiatric institutions and who otherwise just stay at home, take drugs or alcohol and cut themselves off from everything. It's very hard to see them. Their lives are hellish.
I have named my scars. ‘The solidarity scar’ and ‘the unity scar’. Those are the most beautiful words I know. These values made me join AUF.
I dream that one day we can put the tragedy behind us, look to the future without feeling that pain again and again. I hope Utøya someday again is full of life and laughter from young people having fun, and that they can know that feeling of solidarity, playing loud music that crosses Tyrifjorden and wakes us up at the campsite 7.30 in the morning with the same song again and again.
There is no deadline for regaining your mental health after experiencing terrorism. You cannot set a deadline for how quickly you will recover. You cannot set a deadline for what we have lived through.
We also need to understand it from a political context. If we are unable to understand the political context, we cannot fully understand why it happened, how it happened and the consequences it should or will have. A lack of political debate could also lead to a lack of political priorities. Such as help for survivors.