Sámi Media and Indigenous Agency in the Arctic North
- PUBLISHED: January 2020
- SUBJECT LISTING: Scandinavian Studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Visual Studies
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 352 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 14 b&w illus.
- SERIES: New Directions in Scandinavian Studies
- ISBN: 9780295746609
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
Digital media–GIFs, films, TED Talks, tweets, and more–have become integral to daily life and, unsurprisingly, to Indigenous people’s strategies for addressing the historical and ongoing effects of colonization. In Sámi Media and Indigenous Agency in the Arctic North, Thomas DuBois and Coppélie Cocq examine how Sámi people of Norway, Finland, and Sweden use media to advance a social, cultural, and political agenda anchored in notions of cultural continuity and self-determination. Beginning in the 1970s, Sámi have used Sámi-language media—including commercially produced musical recordings, feature and documentary films, books of literature and poetry, and magazines—to communicate a sense of identity both within the Sámi community and within broader Nordic and international arenas.
In more contemporary contexts—from YouTube music videos that combine rock and joik (a traditional Sámi musical genre) to Twitter hashtags that publicize protests against mining projects in Sámi lands—Sámi activists, artists, and cultural workers have used the media to undo layers of ignorance surrounding Sámi livelihoods and rights to self-determination. Downloadable songs, music festivals, films, videos, social media posts, images, and tweets are just some of the diverse media through which Sámi activists transform how Nordic majority populations view and understand Sámi minority communities and, more globally, how modern states regard and treat Indigenous populations.
Authors & Contributors
Thomas A. DuBois is the Halls-Bascom Professor of Scandinavian Studies, Folklore, and Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Among his previous works is his recent Sacred to the Touch: Nordic and Baltic Religious Wood Carving. Coppélie Cocq is professor of European ethnology at the University of Helsinki, Finland, specializing in Sámi studies. Among her previous publications are Revoicing Sámi Narratives: North Sámi Storytelling at the Turn of the Twentieth Century and the coedited volume Perspectives in Indigenous Writing and Literacies.
[M]asterful and uplifting study... Highly recommended for indigenous scholarsand activists, as well as students of modern social media.- Choice
Cocq and DuBois offer an artist-centered account of Sámi agency within Sámi media products—countering implicitly the many stereotypes of the newness of Indigenous media use and activist traditions. The work is of value for both crafting a Sámi activist counter-history that “talks back” to the empire through its own media platforms, and in its close readings of numerous multimedia art works of prominent Sámi artists.- Journal of American Folklore
A wonderful book that shows how current Sámi media activism and innovation emerge from a rich history of savvy self-representation.- Troy Storfjell (Sámi), Director, Native American and Indigenous Studies Program, Pacific Lutheran University
DuBois and Cocq provide a comprehensive study of Sámi expressive media, utilizing a fresh approach that should attract students of other Indigenous cultures as well as global popular culture.- Pamela Wilson, professor of Communication and Media Studies, Reinhardt University
One of the most insightful, carefully constructed, and useful books on Indigenous political and socio-cultural affairs, which should find a broad and diverse audience.- Kenneth S. Coates, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan