About the online exhibition

Recently, the scholarly gaze has been increasingly turned from the Indigenous subject to researchers who study the Indigenous, and to the societal processes that have regulated the production of such knowledge in the past and the present. This turn has contributed to an expanding body of ‘research on research’ within Indigenous and postcolonial studies internationally, and produced clusters of research in histories of scholarly disciplines such as anthropology and history of science.

This notwithstanding, so far research on Sámi research has been scarce. In particular, there are currently no transnational, comparative studies that would address the development and implementation of academic knowledge regarding the Sámi in the different Nordic countries, partly due to the linguistic borders that separate research done in Finland, Sweden, and Norway. To address this gap in scholarship, we have gathered an international and multidisciplinary group capable of crossing these borders and of analyzing the societal dimensions of Sámi research, a research field that has grown both in scholarly and societal significance over the past years.

Inspired by the poetry slam, this online exhibition offers a selection of short texts, originating from the Societal Dimensions of Sámi Research group. Each member of the group was invited to select an object that could be related to the research she or he has contributed with in this project.

Man birra lea (davvisámegiella)

About translation and proofreading

The texts in davvisámegiella are translated by author John Erling Utsi. The research texts in davvisámegiella are proofread by Camilla Brattland, The Arctic University Museum of Norway. The research texts are proofread by Stephen Wickler, The Arctic University Museum of Norway.

About photographs

Front page:

Black and white photograph / hand: Ole Larsen Gaino, from his album Ludiin muitalit. Place: Guovdageaidnu (Kautokeino, Norwegian Sápmi) October 2008. Photographer: Carl-Johan Utsi

Lávvu/Sámi tents in Golok (close to Vájsaluokta), Sirges Sámi Village (Swedish Sápmi) marking of reindeer calves, July 2007. Photographer: Carl-Johan Utsi.

Throughout the 20th century, many southern Sámi were fined for “illegal grazing”. This photo is from a site inspection with lawyers in 1923, Gåebrie sijte reindeerherding district in Ålen, Southern Trøndelag (Norwegian Sápmi) (Ottar, 3, 2020). In the photo: Puntervold, Michael; Mortenson, Daniel; Kjeldsberg, Andreas; Nordfjell, Anders Mortensen; Danielsen, Elias Hermann (probably); Danielsen, Lars (uncertain); Paulsen, Anders; Axmann, Per Larsson; Holm, Lars Nilsen; Kant, Ole Andersen; Mortensen, Morten (probably). Photographer: Lars Danielsen, Røros Museum’s collections.

Photograph from the exhibition “Sápmi – Becoming a Nation” at the Arctic University Museum of Norway which opened year 2000. Photographer: June Åsheim, The Arctic University Museum of Norway.

For the exposition at Márkomeannu (Skánik, Norwegian Sápmi) Sunna Kitti produced a series of ten digital images depicting apocalyptic scenes. Reproduced on big canvas, the drawings were displayed in strategical points on the Márkomeannu site. Themes are the oppression Sami people suffered at the hands of the tyrant; the difficult escape from cruelty and persecution; the Sami ability to thrive in nature and resist a centralized power. In this way, Kitti created ten illustrations conveying both misery and hope. Sami identity was at the core of her paintings. Photographer: Erika de Vivo.  

From the festive mass in Nidarosdomen Church, Tråante (Norwegian Sápmi) at the Sámi Peoples’ Day February 6th 2017 “Tråante 2017”, the Sámi 100 years anniversary. Photographer: Cathrine Baglo.

Youth hands/gáktis: Heaika Wollberg and boyfriend, in the repatriation in Lycksele (Swedish Sápmi). August 9th 2019, Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Photographer: Carl-Johan Utsi.

About page:

From Sámi Sunday at the Arctic University Museum of Norway, 2017. Photographer: Mari Karlstad, The Arctic University Museum of Norway.

Researchers page:

In the photo: Sara-Elvira Kuhmunen, feature for the Sámi Parliament. Luleå (Swedish Sápmi), May 2020. Photographer: Carl-Johan Utsi.

Publications page:

The celebration of the Norwegian National Day in 1966, Spildra, Kvænangen county (Norwegian Sápmi). The policy of assimilation turned the population on this island into Norwegians after the Second world war. Photographer: Jan Nandor Erling Isaksen, Nord-Troms Museum

Contact page:

Haga Paulsen, Gressmyrskogen at Senja (Norwegian Sápmi), 1999. Photographer: Mari Karlstad, the Arctic University Museum of Norway