Searching for a Sami Identity in the Contemporary Arts of Sweden – the Personal, the Political and the Poetical in the Art Works of Katarina Pirak Sikku, Liselotte Wajstedt and Carola Grahn

WINKA, Liselotte (2015) Searching for a Sami Identity in the Contemporary Arts of Sweden – the Personal, the Political and the Poetical in the Art Works of Katarina Pirak Sikku, Liselotte Wajstedt and Carola Grahn. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2015 - Cape Town, South Africa in Session 221 - Art Libraries.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Searching for a Sami Identity in the Contemporary Arts of Sweden – the Personal, the Political and the Poetical in the Art Works of Katarina Pirak Sikku, Liselotte Wajstedt and Carola Grahn

Last year the city of Umeå, situated in the North East of Sweden, was acknowledged as the Cultural Capital of Europe 2014. One reason for being nominated was the origin of the Sami culture in the region. The Sami are the indigenous people and original population of a land area called Sápmi (Sami land). It includes the northern parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland and a small part of northwestern Russia in the Kola Peninsula. The Sami people have traditionally been nomads following their reindeer migration from the mountains to the coast, depending on where to find grazing for the reindeer. In 2014 Bildmuseet, a museum for contemporary and visual arts in Umeå, showed eight exhibitions with artists of Sami descent corresponding in time with the eight seasons of the Sami. Three of the artists were Katarina Pirak Sikku, Liselotte Wajstedt and Carola Grahn, and this paper discusses the personal, the political and the poetical aspects of their art works in the exhibitions. There are about 20,000 Sami people living in Sweden today. With the colonization of Sápmi and the exploitation of the natural resources in the region many of the Sami were forced to relocate and lost their rights to land and waters. The colonization also led to a loss of language, religion and sometimes also a loss of cultural identity.

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