A comment on contemporary Sámi art

Sigrid Lien


How do contemporary Sámi artists seek to establish new modes of historicity through photography? How do they speak about forgotten places and forgotten identities? This short commentary outlines the important contribution being made to current developments in photography-based contemporary art with a focus on Norway’s Sámi community. This text is published as a counterpart to the contribution to Disturbing Pasts from the artist Bente Geving.


Sámi contemporary art, Norway, identity, Bente Geving, photography

Full text: Lien_p.195-197 (PDF, 663 KB)

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.5456/issn.2050-3679/2014s34sl

Biographical note

Sigrid Lien is professor in art history at the University of Bergen, Norway, where her research primarily has been focused on the history and theory of photography, but also on visual arts (modern and contemporary), visual culture and museology. Her most recent research activities include: ‘Silent images, Strong Lives: Early woman photographers in Norway’, the HERA-project ‘Photographs, Colonial Legacy and Museums in Contemporary European Culture’ (PhotoCLEC) headed by Elizabeth Edwards (http://photoclec.dmu.ac.uk), and ‘Photography in Culture’, supported by the Norwegian Research Council. Lien is currently heading the national project ‘Negotiating History: Photography in Sámi Culture’.

An earlier version of this material was presented on the occasion of the project conference ‘Disturbing Pasts: Memories, Controversies and Creativity’ (20 -22 November 2012, Museum of Ethnology/Weltmuseum Wien, Vienna). To view the film footage on the Open Arts Archive, http://www.openartsarchive.org, follow this link: http://www.openartsarchive.org/oaa/content/disturbing-pasts-memories-controversies-and-creativity-conference-15