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From Norway to Gig Harbor: "Being Salmon, Being Human"

$25 Admission / $20 for Members
Bar opens at 5:30 p.m. // Performance from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.


Humanities in the Harbor, a monthly series that explores unique and engaging topics for the Gig Harbor community, continues in August with a unique performance as we welcome some special visitors all the way from Norway!

Created and performed by Norwegian-British storyteller Georgiana Keable, philosopher Martin Lee Mueller and renowned Sami joiker and composer Torgeir Vassvik, "Being Salmon, Being Human" is a unique storytelling performance combining traditional Norwegian tales, original music, and contemporary philosophy.

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Inspired by Martin Lee Mueller’s award-winning book of the same name, and drawing on salmon stories from Sami and First Nations peoples of Scandinavia and North America, the performance takes us on a journey through the extraordinary lives of wild salmon - sentient beings who are born in rivers, traverse the oceans, and return towards the end of their lives to their birth rivers to spawn and gift forward more life. The performance explores what becomes of this awe-inspiring creature and her journey in the face of an expansive, profit-driven feedlot industry.

The life-cycle of the salmon has been celebrated in human cultures since time immemorial. How does the now-dominant story of separation affect our age-old relationship with this extraordinary creature? Who are salmon, and who are we in relation to them?

By interweaving stories old and new against a powerful backdrop of traditional song and contemporary sound art, "Being Salmon, Being Human" offers surprising and evocative insights into the ancient relationship between humans and the larger living world.

"Being Salmon, Being Human" will be held at Harbor History Museum, 4121 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor, WA 98332. Admission is $20 for Harbor History Museum members and $25 for Non-Members. Tickets can be purchased online on the Museum's Buy Tickets page or by calling 253-858-6722; tickets may also be purchased at the Museum front desk. 


Martin Lee Mueller, PhD, received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Oslo in 2016. Before that, he received his master’s degree in culture, environment, and sustainability at the University of Oslo’s Center for Development and the Environment (SUM). He has previously helped build teaching centers in rural Mongolia, worked as a kindergarten teacher, been an elementary school librarian, and led a wilderness school in the Norwegian forest. Recently he has also been touring as a storyteller to festivals in the U.K. and Scandinavia, with a stage performance inspired by this book, which weaves together philosophy, traditional storytelling, and Samí joik music. He lives in Oslo together with his partner and daughter.

Georgiana Keable is a pioneer for rebirth of Storytelling. Storywalks in the forests and mountains of Norway reach thousands of teenagers annually. She started the Storytelling House (Fortellerhuset), founded the Norwegian Storytelling Festival and received Oslo's Artists Prize for outstanding contribution to the cultural life. Georgiana tells stories reflecting our relation with Nature. As a medieval pilgrim on the Pilgrims way or as the botanist Marianne North she tells at the site of the Viking ship burial in South Norway. She also walks, sleeping in a hammock and collecting stories from strangers about how people and nature are connected. She has told at festivals worldwide and recently published Natural Storyteller - Wildlife Tales for Telling.

Arctic soundpoet Torgeir Vassvi creates a new vision of animistic Joik - the vocal art of the Sami indigenous people of Northern Europe – and updates vocal and percussion rituals for the 21st century. As a Sami vocalist, musician and composer, his work connects tradition and innovation and sets trends in the global music scene. Moreover, he takes part in activities, concerts and conferences concerning the arts and rights of indigenous people worldwide. He has been described as “a magnetic and individual live performer, among the most fascinating and intense of Sami contemporary joikers. A true original." (Andrew Cronshaw, Folkroots)

Illustration by April White, with permission from Chelsea Green Publishing.

Questions and inquiries may be directed to Zachary Sokolik, Marketing & Events Coordinator at Harbor History Museum at

Later Event: August 11
HHM Vintage Fair