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Viidon Sieiddit: Looking at new Sámi awareness of nature


The traditional relationship of Sámi with nature is concrete, practical and tied to a place. The places where Sámi live and their physical structures are familiar to the members of the community as they live and do things in them.

Today, the practices of people’s livelihoods have become differentiated and apart from the immediate environment in which people live. Therefore, it is more difficult to perceive the natural-cultural symbiosis we have in daily life. The natural environments inhabited by today’s Sámi are comprised of intersecting layers and threadworks, which form together the kind of life people lead and experience locally.

The exhibition Viidon Sieiddit – New Dimensions of the Sámi Relationship to Nature is a Sámi environmental art exhibition, which spotlights the possibilities of a new kind of Sámi nature awareness and sensitivity through photography, videos, sound and music. In the exhibition hall, photographer Marja Helander’s photography and video “Birds Under the Earth” are combined with the photographs and installations of Jarno Valkonen and the soundscape “Don’t you realize” created by Áilu Valle and Raquel Rawn. The exhibition also contains Stina Aletta Aikio’s interactive installation called “Weeping pine”, which reaches outside the hall, into the outdoors and into Siida’s glass corridor. The exhibition suggests that the traditional Sámi relationship with nature can also offer a basis for the relationship the Sámi have with nature in the 2000s. What kind of natural–cultural life do we lead and, above all, what kind of alternatives do we have?

The Viidon Sieiddit exhibition is available for the public at the Sámi Museum Siida 4 October 2018 – 31 March 2019. The exhibition has been produced by the Sámi Museum Siida in cooperation with the project Viidon Sieiddit – New Dimensions of the Sámi Relationship to Nature. This project is an experimental art and research project financed by Kone Foundation and headed by Sanna Valkonen, Associate Professor of Sámi Research. Using the methods of Sámi art and social Sámi research, it seeks a basis for the Sámi relationship with nature in the 2000s. The results of the project become concrete in the form of an exhibition, a book and a recording. The book connected with the exhibition is on sale in the Siida Shop in Finnish and North Sámi.

Further information:

Jarno Valkonen
Professor, University of Lapland
jarno.valkonen@ulapland.fi, www.viidonsieiddit.fi

Áile Aikio
Curator, Sámi Museum Siida

Sámi Museum Siida, Inarintie 46, FI–99870 Inari, tel. +358 400 898 212, siida@samimuseum.fi , www.siida.fi

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Photo 1: Marja Helander: Hämärän salaisuudet