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Dekoloniseringskonst: Artivism i 2010-talets Sápmi
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies. Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Várdduo – Centre for Sámi Research. (Arcum)
2020 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Decolonising Artivism in Contemporary Sápmi (English)
Abstract [en]

During the 2010s, conceptual art took a prominent position in Sámi struggles for political and social change. Narratives about contemporary colonialism and decolonising alternative visions, conveyed through music, visual arts, performative acts, and poetry, engaged broad audiences and attracted widespread attention. This PhD project, undertaken in Sámi dutkan/Sámi Studies, revolves around the artistic works and practices of four contemporary Sámi artists: Ti/Mimie Märak, Jörgen Stenberg, Anders Sunna and Jenni Laiti (including Suohpanterror). Taking its point of departure from decolonising methodologies, and theories of decolonisation and artivism, the study explores how artivism is used in relation to decolonisation, and discusses what artivism does in this regard. The dissertation has a particular focus on the relationship between Sápmi and Sweden, and the period between 2013 and 2017.

Through an entrance in the artworks, and the participating artists' points of view, the study introduces new perspectives on colonialism and decolonisation in contemporary Sámi and Sámi-Swedish contexts. It serves as a theoretical and empirical contribution to discussions regarding the concept of artivism, and shows how artivism has initiated motion in the issue of decolonisation, and a movement around this issue. Starting with artivism relating to the 2013 Gállok mining conflict, and finishing with artivism related to resurgence and self-determination to land in the Deatnu area in 2017, the study portrays an artivism-driven decolonising process that has both influenced contemporary perceptions of decolonisation (set the issue in motion) and generated positions aligned with such perspectives (activated a movement around the issue).

The study argues that the artivism has shaped discourse around colonialism and contemporary Sweden. Through various artistic works and practices, structural colonial patterns are uncovered, displaying ongoing dispossession of land, exploitation of nature and culture, and a discursive disclosure of such practices as colonial, as part of the same colonial structure. Simultaneously, this artivism enables for decolonising visions. These visions claim public space and motivate audiences to engage in a decolonising movement. A number of resistance subject positions are envisioned through this artivism. These subjects are portrayed as proud, self-sufficient identities with integrity; subjects who are anchored within a Sámi and Indigenous collective, who are themselves intersectional and anti-oppressive, and stand in alliance with similar progressive movements. In alignment with the discourses related to these movements, Sámi traditional knowledge is articulated as viable options to tackle continued environmental deterioration and climate change – problems often associated with colonialism.

The movement gradually develops into a fictional recapture of land, which enables space for Sámi self-determining practices to take place. Here, the artistically created vision of self-determination, makes self-determination to land a reality – if so only temporary. As such, the artistic creation of a decolonised space, enables the actual space for decolonised practice. The study argues that there is a correlation between the artivistic enabling, and activation of decolonising positions and visions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2020. , p. 249
Series
Umeå studies in language and literature ; 41
Series
Sámi dutkan / Sámi studies / Samiska studier, ISSN 1651-5153 ; 10
Keywords [en]
artivism, decolonization, Sámi art, Swedish colonialism, Indigenous movement, activism, social media, street art
Keywords [sv]
artivism, dekolonisering, samisk konst, svensk kolonialism, urfolksrörelse, aktivism, sociala rörelser, sociala medier, gatukonst
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-174973ISBN: 978-91-7855-336-5 (electronic)ISBN: 978-91-7855-335-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-174973DiVA, id: diva2:1466894
Public defence
2020-10-09, Hörsal B, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
The Kempe FoundationsAvailable from: 2020-09-18 Created: 2020-09-14 Last updated: 2021-08-24Bibliographically approved

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Sandström, Moa

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