12.10.23 - Uaajeerneq – Greenlandic Maskdance Workshop
14.10.23 - Workshop “Indigenizing the Arts”
15.10.23 - Performance Intervention ČSV
Panel Talk, Presentation and Film Screening
The Sámi, an indigenous group in northern Europe, have faced a variety of challenges throughout their history, including the harrowing experience of land confiscation and forced displacement from their homelands due to colonisation and resource extraction.
With the global shift of energy interests towards renewable and sustainable sources, these northern regions of Europe have received international attention. The presence of renewable resources such as wind, water and minerals has made Sámi territories an increasingly desirable location for energy development. Under the guise of efforts by governments and energy companies to meet renewable energy targets and combat climate change, exploration and development of energy resources on Sámi lands continues - at the expense of traditional land use and cultural preservation.
What happens to the land when indigenous peoples are forced to abandon their traditional way of life in, of and with nature to make way for modern energy production for the masses?
What lies are used to convince the majority that this is the right thing to do?
Electric Lies, a project curated by Camilla Therese Karlsen as part of Oyoun's overarching initiative Listening to the Land and its participatory outdoor chapter Sea behind the Wall, will launch in October 2023 and explore these questions. With the aim of informing about the socio-political situation in Sápmi and encouraging participants to reflect, Electric Lies will start with a residency program for Nordic and German artists at Oyoun. The project will unfold in the form of workshops, discussions and film screenings, ultimately culminating in the performance intervention ČSV. These letters have many meanings, one of which is "čájet sámi vuoiŋŋa", which translates as "showing the Sámi spirit" and is often used to promote Sámi identity and activism.
Uaajeerneq – Greenlandic Maskdance Workshop w/ Elisabeth Heilmann Blind
12.10.2023 | 18:00 - 21:00 at Oyoun | Tickets: Free admission
Registration: www.oyoun.de | Language: English | © Hans Olof Utsi
The Greenlandic mask dance Uaajeerneq is the oldest theatrical form of expression of the Inuit in Greenland. In this mask dance workshop, participants
will be introduced to the historical significance of the mask dance and gain insights into its basic elements, which are based on animistic thinking. In addition, the workshop offers an introduction and lecture on the Greenlandic drum dance that will be practised during the session. Special attention is given to the creative learning process of the dance, which enables participants to discover their own expression and inner drive.
Workshop “Indigenizing the Arts” with Asta Mitkijá Balto
14.10.2023 | 13:00 - 16:00 at Oyoun | Tickets: Free admission
Registration: www.oyoun.de | Language: English | © Asta Mitkijá Balto
In her workshop, titled "Indigenization of the Arts," Asta Mitkijá Balto engages with participants to explore the significance of Sámi culture for non-indigenous individuals who express themselves through art. She initiates the workshop by providing a comprehensive overview of the circumstances surrounding the indigenous Sámi people in Norway, with particular emphasis on Sámi art and its pivotal role in preserving Sámi society. The workshop uses the "café method", an informal group work technique that replicates the welcoming atmosphere of a café. In this setting, fundamental questions about personal challenges, life circumstances and the possibilities for creating art are discussed and reflected upon.
ČSV - Performance-Intervention, Panel Talk, Presentation & Film screening by and/or with Asta Mitkijá Balto, Elisabeth Heilman Blind, Liv Aira and Marika Renhuvud
15.10.2023 | ČSV - Performance-Intervention at Hasenheide: 13:30 - 15:00 | Panel Talk, Presentation & Film screening at Oyoun: 16:30 - 18:00 | Tickets: Free admission | Language: Englisch
The performance intervention ČSV is the result of the residency of Nordic and German artists at Oyoun. In this unique performance, traditional Joik singing, poetry, mask dance and contemporary dance are combined to create an impressive work. The aim is to educate the audience about the socio-political situation in Sápmi and at the same time to make them think. This performance intervention combines artistic expression with an important social concern and conveys the important message about the challenges and resilience of the Sámi community.
Panel Talk: “Power Production's Impact on Indigenous Way of Life” with Asta Mitkijá Balto, Elisabeth Heilman Blind and Liv Aira
This panel talk focuses on the impact of modern energy generation on indigenous lifestyles, culture and connection to nature. It addresses noise pollution from power generation and its impact on natural sounds in nature. Special attention is given to Germany, which buys electricity from Norwegian and Swedish Sápmi. The discussion will highlight the destruction of traditional nature by wind turbines, changes in wildlife behaviour and their impact on reindeer herders. Likewise, the coal and mineral mines in Gallock and controversial construction projects in Finnmark that threaten traditional Sámi land and nature will be addressed in order to improve Norway's carbon footprint instead of using existing technologies to remove CO2.
Presentation: “Indigenizing the Arts” by Asta Mitkijá Balto with Q&A
In her lecture, Asta Mitkijá Balto gives a concise overview of the situation of the indigenous Sámi in Norway, with a special focus on Sámi art and its important role in the preservation of Sámi society. Through images and examples of Sámi art, she illustrates the journey of liberation from colonisation by showing how Sámi art serves as a reflection and critique of social issues, evoking emotions that politics and science often cannot reach. This artistic expression offers new insights, understanding and meaningful experiences for both Sámi and non-Sámi and sheds light on Sámi rights and their survival as a people.
Film Screening: "Faamoe" by Marika Renhuvud
"Faamoe" is a captivating screen dance film by filmmaker and choreographer Marika Reinhuvud. The film explores the deep source of power inherent in indigenous women and draws inspiration from the harmonious connection between nature and the Sámi goddess Saaraahka.
Camilla Therese Karlsen is an author, storyteller, dancer, aerial artist and acrobat. Camilla belongs to the Sámi tribe in northern Norway. After many years of stage experience as a performer whose main medium is her body, she has explored how to combine her work with traditional Sámi storytelling and poetry.
In 2017 she founded Ulv & Ugle, a Sámi performance art company that promotes Sámi culture and raises awareness of indigenous socio-political issues. The company's work can be described as crossover performance and includes Sámian joik, poetry, storytelling, dance, juggling and acrobatics on the floor and in the air. Camilla addresses the ongoing conflict at the "industrial windmill park" in Fosen, critiquing the fabricated narratives of the "green turn" in energy production and highlighting how indigenous cultures are oppressed and stigmatised in such a propaganda object.
Elisabeth Heilmann Blind is originally from Sisimiut in Greenland, but has lived in northern Sweden for 30 years. She trained as an actress at the Tukak Theatre in Denmark from 1983-1988, during which time she studied Butoh dance and Noh theatre in Japan. Elisabeth works as an actress in various theatres, including Giron Sámi Teáhter in Sweden. She is also active as a mask dancer and teaches Liberation Dance and Greenlandic Mask Dance in workshops.
Lars Henrik Blind is a reindeer herder, yoiker and storyteller and has worked as a cultural worker in Sápmi for more than 40 years. As a young yoiker, he toured with well-known yoikers such as Nils Aslak Valkeapää at home and abroad. He has worked on various cultural projects, including the Sámi theatre in Kiruna and film productions, and has travelled the Nordic countries as a storyteller.
Liv Aira is a dancer and choreographer who often refers to her Sámi heritage in her art. Since 2017, she has been the founder and artistic director of Invisible People Contemporary Dance Company, with whom she is currently touring with Ájttega and Akti Lij. She is the initiator of the Låvda - Sápmi Screendance Festival and the indigenous cultural festival Skájdde in the Storforsen nature reserve. She is currently establishing the world's first Sámi dance centre in northern Sweden outside Jokkmokk. She has a BA degree in dance and an MA degree in choreography from the Institute of Arts in Barcelona.
Luis Bogado, known as "Enano," is a versatile artist who has seamlessly merged his 14 years of karate expertise with a passion for hip-hop dance, notably Breaking. This fusion has birthed his distinctive Latin-Style dance. Over two decades, Enano has mastered various dance forms, taught internationally, and represented Venezuela in numerous competitions and cultural festivals. He's also a co-founder of the Foundation "Manzanoarte," promoting social circus and the performing arts in Venezuela. Enano's commitment to innovation led him to pursue a master's degree in physical and applied theater from the prestigious Dimitri Theater Academy in Switzerland, marking a remarkable journey of dedication and artistic exploration.
Asta Mitkijá Balto, an esteemed educator and advocate for Indigenous education, was honored with an Honorary Doctorate by WINU in 2018 for her lifelong dedication to this cause. With a 20-year tenure at the University of Applied Sciences, Norway, where she held various roles, including Rector, Vice Rector, Lecturer, and Professor, Asta's influence extended far beyond academia. Asta's research, focusing on traditional knowledge and values, has profound contemporary relevance, enabling her to bridge academic and traditional insights to drive decolonization across diverse sectors. Asta’s work not only enriches Indigenous communities but also empowers outsiders to engage with Sámi and Indigenous cultures on more equitable terms, making her a pivotal figure in the global pursuit of Indigenous education and cultural revitalization.
Curatorial focus: Listening to the Land / Sea Behind the Wall
Artistic direction: Madhumita Nandi
Concept: Madhumita Nandi, Samirah Siddiqui, Oyoun Team
Curatorial team: Nina Martin, Ihisa Adelio, Dami Choi
Cover, fig.1: Workshop mask, Hans Olof Utsi.
fig. 3: Camilla Therese Karlsen, Joik the gakti no fokus.