SKAM (Shame) is a Norwegian teen drama, originally aimed at young girls, and produced by NRK P3, which is part of the Norwegian Public Broadcaster, NRK. It’s elicited fervent fan reaction, particularly in Russia. The concept has since been sold around the globe and there are versions in France, Italy, etc. addressed to a local audience. I’d never heard of it until the Queer Television Reading Group at Warwick brought it to my attention, asking us to see two episodes from the third series (Episode 1 ‘Lykke til Isak’ & Episode 8 ‘Mannen i mitt liv’) and asking us to read two scholarly articles:
- Saara Ratilainen, ‘Norway Reimagined: Popular Geopolitics and the Russophone Fans of Skam’, NORDICOM Review, 41.S1 (2020), 139–53: &
- Emelie Bengtsson, Rebecka Kallquist, and Malin Sveningsson, ‘Combining New and Old Viewing Practices: Uses and Experiences of the Transmedia Series “Skam”’, NORDICOM Review, 39.2 (2018), 63–77:
The reading group raised all kinds of fascinating questions on the transnational & the transmedial, on Russophone cultures and Queer Nations, and on fandom and desire.
I wanted to continue the discussion and no one of my acquaintance knows more about SKAM than Misha Iakovlev, a researcher on Queer Theory, Gender, Sexuality& Race in Russian Cinema During its Transition from Communism. In the podcast, Misha and I discuss form, aesthetics, the representation of race & sexuality, queerness & queering & how the TV show is both an example of transnational and the transmedial but also raises interesting questions about how those categories are conceptualised. We hope you find it interesting and useful,