The Fritt Ord Foundation

The Fritt Ord Foundation is a private non-profit foundation that seeks to promote freedom of expression, public debate, art and culture.

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Fritt Ord's grants for master’s degrees

May 15 2024

Is your master’s project about freedom of expression, social debate or journalism? If so, you can apply for a student grant from the Fritt Ord Foundation.


“In an age of fake news, AI, propaganda and manipulation, we must place trust in the photographer himself.” Speeches on the occasion of the awarding of the 2024 Fritt Ord Prize to Harald Henden

May 8 2024

“Each day, more than 3 billion images are uploaded to social media, including photos from conflicts and disasters. However, in an age of fake news, propaganda, manipulation and artificial intelligence, the question is often ‘what can we trust?’" observed Harald Henden upon being awarded the Fritt Ord Prize.
His response is that we must trust the individual photographer. Grete Brochmann, chair of the Fritt Ord Foundation Board, drove home the same point, calling war and documentary photography an integral part of the infrastructure of freedom of expression.


War photographer and prize laureate Harald Henden: “Credibility is journalism's most important capital asset”

May 7 2024

“Credibility is the media’s most important capital asset. That is precisely why the importance of having the media’s own photographers on site has not diminished. In point of fact, it is more important than ever before.
“This is because credibility is also an individual photographer’s most important asset. “When I put my name under a photo, readers should be able to trust that the content is correct, so that no further verification is needed. This brand of credibility takes many years to build up, and it can be descimated by a single mistake,” commented Harald Henden (63) upon being awarded the Fritt Ord Prize on Tuesday evening.


Ingeborg studies constructive journalism in Oxford

May 5 2024

This story is only published in Norwegian.

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Book launch of Fritt Ord’s 50th anniversary book 1974-2024

April 15 2024

Writer and historian Hilde Gunn Slottemo presents “Freedom of expression. Foundation and Society 1974-2024”

Harald Henden.

Fritt Ord Prize for 2024 to war and press photographer Harald Henden

April 12 2024

The Fritt Ord Foundation’s Prize for 2024 is awarded to war and press photographer Harald Henden for his courageous and uncompromising documentation of wars, conflicts and natural disasters for more than three decades.

Apply for Funding


The Fritt Ord Foundation is a private non-profit foundation that aspires to promote freedom of expression, public debate, art and culture. The projects that receive funding should benefit the Norwegian public and be accessible to all. In special cases, the Fritt Ord Foundation can help promote freedom of expression in other countries.

See the grants list

Selected grants

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Trønderdebatt is launching its fourth and final season of the debate project “Sentrumskontrollørene”, which reviews cities, towns and shopping centers in Trøndelag County as if they were cultural issues.

Skjermbilde 2023 11 29 kl. 11.51.24
journal DER Media
Norwegian journalism: DER journal - Bilingual Norwegian-Arabic journal

The Norwegian-Arab social journal DER, based in Bergen, has received NOK 100 000 in funding for three issues to be published in April, August and December 2024, each of which will be accompanied by a seven-minute podcast.

Den skinnenes byen teater
Espen Klouman Høiner
Made in China

The theatre production “Made in China” by playwright, director and actor Espen Klouman Høiner will challenge the “Eurocentric view of China and the great and all-powerful ‘I’”. At the same time, it is an artistic reflection on a Chinese state system that increasingly uses its high-tech innovation to monitor and suppress its citizens – and that exports these methods.

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Nora Svalheim
"I am a Hedde"

Actress and stunt performer Nora Svalheim, composer and musician Åsmund Solberg and director Sullivan Lloyd Nordrum have received NOK 50 000 to stage the play “I am a Hedde”, which the three have developed together, focussing on the topics of exclusion and bullying.

Teater manu
Theatre Manu
Hands down

The sign language theatre company Theatre Manu has been granted NOK 75 000 in funding for script development of a play about growing up deaf in the 1970s and not being allowed to use your hands to communicate. The working title is "Hands down ". The play is based on the story of actor Ronny Patrick Jacobsen (pictured). Marius Leknes Snekkevåg has written the script.

Toni usman
Toni Usman
Death Penalty

Director and playwright Toni Usman has been granted NOK 100 000 in funding for the theatre production “Death Penalty”, which will be staged next autumn. “Death Penalty” will be about Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1928-1979), who was deposed in a military coup and then executed on 4 April 1979.

Maria Kulikovska
My Body is a Battlefield

In the summer of 2023, Ukrainian installation artist Maria Kulikovska from Crimea set up her installations from the exhibition “My Body is a Battlefield” in the currently empty premises of the yet-to-open Jøssingfjord Science Museum in Sokndal in Rogaland County.

Skjermbilde 2023 03 10 kl. 18.24.55
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee
Commemoration of the war in Ukraine - exhibition and events

‘Ukraine’s struggle for freedom’ at the Albin Upp Gallery in Oslo marks one year since a full-scale invasion was mounted on 24 February 2022.

Skjermbilde 2023 03 10 kl. 18.29.00
Human Rights House Foundation
Guest performance featuring a Ukrainian theatre troupe, ‘War through the eyes of Ukrainian artists’

The Ukrainian play ‘Imperium delendum est’ by Lesia Ukrainka Theater of Lviv will be performed in Oslo.

Skjermbilde 2023 04 28 kl. 10.06.10
International Creativity Workshop AS
International Creativity Workshop AS Polish Film Week’s 10th anniversary

Polish Film Week is scheduled to take place in Moss on 26-27 August, Fredrikstad on 8-15 October, and Oslo on 20 October. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the festival, and this year Ukraine and Mexico are also included in the programme. “There will also be a Polish-Norwegian conference on the importance of culture in integration," states festival director Magdalena Tutka.

Skjermbilde 2023 04 28 kl. 10.12.46
Ordkalotten International Literature Festival
Ordkalotten International Literature Festival 2023

This year’s Ordkalotten International Literature Festival will be held in Tromsø from 9-11 November and, as always, it will focus on two main profiles – one dead and one living. This year, the authors are Sissel Solbjørg Bjugn and Herbjørg Wassmo and the theme is ‘Legacy’.

Skjermbilde 2024 04 10 kl. 19.45.59
UpNorth Film AS
USA-lansering og markedsføring av dokumentarfilmen "Praying For Armageddon"
Film, formidling



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Documentary Photography

Over the years, Fritt Ord has worked to strengthen the position of documentary photography through special calls for applications for funding, providing ongoing support for photo books and exhibitions, and establishing projects like The Norwegian Journal of Photography.

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Libraries, Encyclopaedia, and Houses of Literature

Fritt Ord has launched various initiatives related to the communication of knowledge and the promotion of literature, including an annual subsidy scheme earmarked for Norwegian public libraries. In 2005, the Foundation took the initiative to establish Norway’s first house of literature and, in 2010, to ensure the further operation of Store norske leksikon.

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Media and Journalism

Since its inception, Fritt Ord has had media and journalism as one of its core target areas. In today’s demanding media situation, the Foundation has set up separate grant and subsidy schemes for journalists and critics.

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Young People and Students

Fritt Ord offers grants for students working on master’s theses or on documentary films in fields such as human rights, journalism, freedom of expression and democracy building. It also hosts the Fritt Ord Foundation Competition for Upper Secondary Schools and the Norwegian Historical Society’s competition for pupils.

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International Projects

Fritt Ord takes part in a number of joint projects outside the borders of Norway, primarily related to freedom of the press, democracy building and the strengthening of organisations of civil society.

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Fritt Ord has taken the initiative for several research projects on freedom of expression that have been conducted by various Norwegian research communities. Among other things, the studies have examined social norms and political tolerance in respect of statements, online harassment and polarisation, artistic freedom of expression and freedom of expression in the workplace.

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Books and reports published by the Fritt Ord Foundation, alone or with partners.