Brexit chaos, the rise of nationalistic movements in Europe, unexpected election results and the shadowy world of espionage and surveillance. Many of the west’s misfortunes can supposedly be traced back to a Russian connection — where strings are pulled on large- and small-scale interferences in the world’s political and economic systems.

But what is the reality in the world of disinformation, misinformation and alternative facts? What is the truth, and who creates the fiction? Does the western media sensationalise Russia’s perceived power in the world, or is there actually a coordinated, vast programme that is aimed at destabilising those who do not follow Moscow’s agenda?

In the north, there is more to the Russian connection than global politics. Historical ties, trade and shared experiences have shaped the region’s governance, economy and culture — transforming the urban and cultural space and creating visible signs of Russian presence. Where do these fit when understanding Russian influence today?

Welcome to the 2020 Barents Spektakel, where we invite you to piece together the mosaic of clues and decide for yourself — do the Russians run everything!?