Listening to the Fosen/ Fovsen case - ČSV

 ©WORM, Still, Ending shot close, MIhkkal Hætta
© WORM, Still, Ending shot close, MIhkkal Hætta

Katarina Dorothea Isaksen (Sàpmi) and Elin Már Øyen Vister (NO) with guest Tuula Sharma Vassvik (Sápmi) + Film screening: Mihkkal Hætta (Sápmi) – Whispers of Reindeer Milk (2023) 18 min

Jiennagoahti’s program curators, artists Katarina Dorothea Isaksen and Elin Már Øyen Vister invite guest, artist and musician Tuula Sharma Vassvik for an evening that takes the Fosen/Fovsen case as a departure point for a conversation about personal and artistic responses to the case and broader issues concerning Sámi land rights, both as Sámi and as allies working in solidarity. They will share updates on the case as the Fosen/Fovsen as activists are taking the state to court this March for the fines that have been charged with after the actions in Oslo in October 2023. Where does the Fosen/Fovsen case stand now?

Beginning with three artistic responses to the Fovsen/Fosen case. The following conversation will focus on the panel’s work as land defenders/artists, referencing other land/water protection initiatives in both Saepmie/Sábme/Sápmi and internationally. The panellists will be sharing thoughts and feelings regarding emotional and physical responses to the part-taking of land protection actions. How do they deal with their emotional responses? How does the local Fovsen Sámien deal with the loss and damage of land and so many years of stress, pressure and disturbances? What does #Landback mean? How can you be a good ally? How do land and water right cases affect /inspire art -making ?

The evening concludes with a screening of Mihkkal Hætta’s short film “Whispers of reindeer milk” (18 min, 2023) and a Q&A with the director. Mihkkal spent more than a month in a lavvo in front of the Stuorradigga/Stortinget in Oslo during the protests in October 2023.

Jiennagoáhti – Lyttegammen is a work of art in public space dedicated to listening.The project has a temporary location at Torrfjellet on Fløien, and is a collaboration with Byfjellsforvalteren and the Urban Environment Agency in Bergen Municipality. The Sámi turf hut / sound art listening gallery is an outdoor and indoor space for the dissemination and listening to Sami culture, architecture and language for residents and visitors of Bergen/Birgon Jiennagoahti is organized, curated and managed by the artists Sážžá Káhtariinná (Katarina Dorothea Isaksen) (Sápmi) and Elin Már Øyen Vister (NO), with help from a volunteer group.

Tuula Sharma Vassvik is a Sámi writer, researcher, singer and sound artist deeply engaged with Indigenous and marginalized people’s resistance to colonialism, racism, capitalism, patriarchy and heteronormativity. Tuula is concerned with the political battles in Sápmi fought with power that comes from cultural practices and connections to eanan, the earth, each other, and the ancestors. Tuula Sharma Vassvik is the creator, producer, and composer behind «Vuostildanfearánat – Sámi stories of resistance», a podcast about indigenizing; grounding and growing in Sámi ways of living as well as protecting our lands, communities and culture amid new forms of colonial state incursion and infrastructures. The podcast centers on Indigenous sovereignty, thriving, health and strength. This is needed in order to be able to dream, create and imagine our futures. Vuostildanfearánat is made in collaboration with the Arctic Silk Road research project.

Sážžá Káhtariinná (Katarina Dorothea Isaksen) is an artist from Sážžá / Senja based in Bergen. In addition to her artistic practice and duojar-work she is board leader of Bergen sáamid searvi/ Bergen Sámi association. Her task there is to work with the local commune and municipality as well as NSR, to ensure Sámi rights and a thriving Sámi cultural life in Bergen/Birgon. As an artist Sážžá Káhtariinná works with film, music, and literature, often with her background as a starting point. Sážžá Káhtariinná recently began writing about duodji (Sámi cultural handicrafts) and art / Dajdda, and so far she has published to art-critiques for the “Magasinet Kunsthåndverk”. Isaksen is passionate about multicultural ways of living, indigenous health, and the protection of the earth, nature, and animals.

Elin Már Øyen Vister is a gender queer interdisciplinary artist, composer and land/water defender, based on Røst in the far south-west of Lofoten/Lofuohta/Láfot, traditional Sea Sami lands. Elin Már embraces a wide range of artistic expression and works with experimental composition, field recordings, improvisation, performance, installation, language/place names/linguistics, poetry/text, textiles, sculptures of organic material and so called sensory walks. Øyen Vister practices an artistic research method that is slow-moving and site-specific, and which is inspired by Deep Listening, intersectional, post-colonial and eco-feminist elements, social justice movements and indigenous methods. Creating space for a diversity of understandings of reality, narratives and voices is Elin Márs driving force, together with deconstructing “given” and “normative” truths. Ideally, Øyen Vister’s installations are accompanied by one/several social choreographies that take the audience physically “out of the gallery space and” into the landscape the work they have co-created belongs to – and relates to. Øyen Vister’s ongoing major artistic research projects include “Soundscape Røst (2010-)” and “Deconstructing Norwegianness”. They also co-operates and programs the artist in residency program and joint workshop Røst AIR at Skomvær Fyrstasion and Røstlandet (2012-)

Mihkkal Hætta is a 22-year-old sámi filmmaker from Guovdageaidnu, Northern Sápmi. Hætta wants to add a completely new genre to the ever-growing selection of Sámi films. Hætta has big ambitions; he wants to transfer the Sámi storytelling tradition to the screen and conquer the hearts of his audience through Sami arthouse films. He was also selected as young artist at the Riddu Riđđu festival in 2023.

We are screening his short film “Whispers of Reindeer Milk” (2023) which recently was selected for the FFN Young directors program at TIFF, Tromsø/Romssa.. Whispers of Reindeer Milk explores an alternative universe in Sápmi where they managed to remove the primordial knowledge from the colonists. The film is composed of open, meditative, persistent images from different landscapes in Sápmi, and is a journey to and from these lands.