Does History have any importance in the Contemporary busy celebrating Youth, Sexuality and Commerce?
OUR HISTORY MADE INVISIBLE.
Tha Saami of South on the Scandinavian peninsula, are still being made invisible. Is it still about land rights and who are the most legitimate inhabitants with the longest belonging? Within the Norwegian there is an inherited and subconscious contempt for Saami culture. Once the Saami people (of the mountains), where regarded wealthy and of a different league: They were free to play hide and seek with the Kings tax officers and police. And they were wearing their wealth on their bodies, in silver and fur.
With the inherited contempt, there is a blind spot among the Liberals and the Left – Celebrating diversity, but leaving out the Saami.
In the aftermath of 1814 Constitution, Saami rights were rewritten as Saami privileges, and thereby legitimate and fair to deprive.
I have heard a high rank Cultural officer sigh “Well, the Saami ARE nature” and another snort scornful when suggesting Yoik as a possible part of an event: “Should we have all kinds of exotica here?” I have heard an old man talk about “your people´s culture” one moment, and the next let you know that his very own grandmother was a Saami.
DALVEDH is an art project which take a closer look at the ideologies leading to todays inherited contempt, and or indifference.
DALVEDH – Galleri IKM, Grønland OSLO 13.11-19.12.2014
From my earliest days of studies at the art academy I had an urgent need to understand why certain fields of knowledge and esthetics were classified as lower and less valuable and how this applied to the same value-system as in the real political world. I remember being shocked to find that the Art world was not as free and openminded as I hoped. Post colonial theory became an important tool for me to understand a complex world of power, disenfranchised and resistance.
Little did I know that I could apply post-colonial theory to better understand the place I come from.
I returned to Trøndelag in 2008/9 from Zambia. And having lived outside the region for half of my life, I realized that there was a blank spot on the map of my mind to start exploring. Just outside the edge of my glance.
The region I come from has a closer connection to nature than the more urbanized Europe. This might be an influenced from our regions Saami cultural base.
We grew up feeling less cultured than those closer to the continents hotspots. Where does those undercurrents comes from?
A nature based cosmology has been regarded primitive and irrational.
Todays scientific research tells us more about the complexity of the natural world and that there are so much more to learn : Plant communicate between themselves with chemical signals – Animals are made up of nearly 99% of the genetic materials as human beings etc.
But maybe we should reclaim the meaning of the word primitive: Because is it not just that, what the word actually mean: Basic – what comes first and foremost, the most important?
In ancient Saami cosmology the believe is that we walk sole to sole with sajve, the forefathers – the past.
Why did I know so little about where I come from? The word Dalvedh is south Saami and means: What has been long gone, for then to reappear. I was petrified to find so many traces of a history I had never heard about. Never has these traces from the past, been put together to form a scenario – at least not in the official history book.
I started talking to local historians, people with South Saami cultural knowledge, researchers of different fields like history, archaeology, language.
This lead into an installation and a lecture performance.
In this project I have cooperated with the composer Frode Fjellheim, who has help me built an installation where the object are singing and you must use your senses. Reflection through bodily experience.
(His music is Saami yoik based, and a real emotional trigger: Beautiful. Frode is known through his band Transjoik and he also had success with his intro in the Disney movie “Frost”.)
How is it possible that such an important part of our past could disappear?