Theater of Cruelty

No longer catching

After 17 years, Blekkulf is separated from the Nature Conservation Association. They think he is too childish.


[environment] Blekkulf will no longer be the front figure for young environmental detectives in the Nature Conservation Association. Money troubles and disagreements have led to breaches with the creator of the squid, Bente Roestad. From having around 25.000 members in their heyday, there are now sharp 2500 members left.

Blekkulf's environmental detectives change their name to Miljøagentene – and all the employees leave the ship. General manager Andrew Kroglund says that there have been many and long negotiations with Bente Roestad. Kroglund believes Blekkulf worked best for the youngest.

- We have had a target group from 3-12 years, but when the children are 6-7 years old, Blekkulf is not so cool anymore. Rather a bit childish, says Kroglund.

Roestad has a completely different view:

- My experience after many years with puppet theater, radio and books about Blekkulf is that his philosophy, which is based on the joy of nature, has appeal to children up to at least twelve years. Beyond that, I do not want to discuss Blekkulf with Andrew Kroglund, says Roestad.

Kroglund tells Ny Tid that it was not possible to pay Roestad as much as she was entitled to according to the royalty agreement. Roestad herself says she has already given up a lot of money because the club was bad financially. She already announced this autumn that she did not want to continue the collaboration.

- I was not happy with how they had developed Blekkulf, she says to Ny Tid.

Blekkulf has received some criticism for including Hydro as its main sponsor, but Roestad does not want to elaborate on what the parties argued about.

- Now we will not live together anymore, so then it is not necessary to discuss more. But I can confirm that it was not finances that was the reason I withdrew from the collaboration, she says.

She brings with her Blekkulf and will develop the octopus on her own.

- There was a new book about Blekkulf last year, and I am writing a new book now. I already have collaborations with the Kon-Tiki Museum, the UN and Channel 24, and I am working on several projects to further develop Blekkulf for new generations of children, she says.

Kroglund explains the economic downturn with poorer conditions for organizations in Norway.

- In addition, there is increasing competition for children's attention and enormous pressure from television and the gaming world. Young people "shop" more than before, he says and emphasizes that even though the number of members has decreased, there are still 300 schools and kindergartens that are group members.

Kroglund takes up a job as an advisor in the World Natural Fund (WWF). Organizing manager Yvonne Thoresen also quits. Daniel Sellevoll joins as new information manager.

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