In Defense of Darkness

In Defense of Darkness


Astrophysics defines darkness as the "absence of light", but the fundamental truth is that darkness, from an astronomical point of view, doesn’t exist. Darkness, therefore, can be defined as the perceived absence of light. When the Sun is more than 18 degrees below the horizon, the so-called astronomical darkness - but we must venture far into the plateau, into the desert or the open sea, to witness it.
Has darkness become the ultimate resource? Winter in Norway is long and black. Two thirds of Norwegians live today so they cannot see Mjølkevegen. There are more and more street lights and screens. What does all this artificial light do to us humans, animals and all living beings? Sigri Sandberg has in mind our fear of darkness. She went alone to the mountains in the winter to learn more about darkness and her own fear. In the book we also meet another woman, Christiane Ritter, who spent the winter in a hunting lodge on Svalbard in 1934. Sandberg also writes about what happens in the human body when it gets dark. She talks about sleep, stars, black holes, aurora borealis and dark times, but also about celestial laws and the global struggle for the night sky. Maybe it’s because that darkness that Sandberg is so afraid of is much more important than we think?


  • Year of the edition: 2022
  • Original title: Mørke. Stjerner, redsel og fem netter på Finse
  • Original language: Norwegian
  • Translation: Mišo Grundler