Photo 1: Marja Helander, Birds In The Earth, Filmstill, 2018
Photo 2: Annika Dahlsten & Markku Laakso, Koskivuononvaara, Inari, 2011
Photo 3–11: SPEAKING BACK, installation view, Kunsthaus Hamburg, 2023, photos: Hayo Heye
Davi muitalusaid dekoloniseren
Decolonizing Nordic Narratives
3 June – 1 October 2023
Please note: On Sunday, 1 October, the exhibition will be open only from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Muitaliigo dunnje aktage / ahte mii orrut Sámieatnamis / Dajaigo son /
ahte dát lea Sápmi / Dovddastiigo maiddái / ahte dát lea min / Ii suige fal hupman /
primitiiva kultuvrra / aktageardánis olbmuin / ii suige fal dadjan /
ahte sii bukte čuvgehusa
Did anyone tell you / that we live in Sámiland / did they say / that this is Sápmi /
did they acknowledge, too / that this belongs to us / I hope they did not just talk /
about a primitive culture / simpleminded people / I wish they did not maintain /
that they brought us civilisation
(Nils-Aslak Valkeapää: Giđa ijat čuovgadat, How light the nights of spring, 1980)
With the artists Sissel M. Bergh, Annika Dahlsten & Markku Laakso, Marja Helander, Minna Henriksson, Hannimari Jokinen, Marjo Levlin, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Katarina Pirak Sikku, Hilde Skancke Pedersen, Outi Pieski
SPEAKING BACK is an art and research project that reflects upon colonialism in Europe’s North and its past and present entanglements with Germany. In the ongoing decolonization processes of German museums and other memory institutions, the Nordic colonialism and its devastating impacts on the Sámi and other minorities has not yet received enough attention. With art and scholarly perspectives, the project SPEAKING BACK focuses on this complex and ethically sensible field. SPEAKING BACK calls attention to the white supremacy ideology and racist structures that even today bias people’s minds and attitudes.
In the exhibition SPEAKING BACK, Sámi and non-Sámi artists will critically review the Nordic colonial heritage and its linkages to German museums and colonial history in general. Even more, the exhibition gives space for a critical and responsible debate on decolonial agency and strategies of resistance.
As part of the project, a group of artists and researchers have conducted research in German, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish archives and museums. The sculptures, video installations, textile art, photography and drawings in the exhibition review historical and contemporary colonial gaze, looting, eviction and commodification of nature in a Nordic framework. The art works change perspectives, elaborate and visualize resilient strategies and agency.
The exhibition SPEAKING BACK gives space for a critical and responsible debate on Germany’s colonial heritage. Even more, decolonial strategies of resistance and agency will be presented. An extensive accompanying program provides the opportunity for critical debate in context.
Curators: Áile Aikio, Hannimari Jokinen and Katja Schroeder. The exhibition at MARKK is curated in close collaboration by Dr. Anna Sophie Laug.
In cooperation with
Saturday, 3 June 2023, 3pm
Thursday, 8 June + 22 June 2023, 6 pm
Sunday, 18 June + 2 July 2023, 3 pm
Saturday, 3 June 2023, 4 pm
Lecture Performance: Minna Henriksson
Thursday, 15 June 2023, 7 pm
Artist talk: Hannimari Jokinen
Thursday, 22 June 2023 2023, 7 pm
Lecture: Anne Heith
Thursday, 29 June 2023, 7 pm
Film: Eatnameamet – Our Silent Struggle by Suvi West
Sunday, 10 September 2023, 12 pm at Kunsthaus Hamburg (2 pm at MARKK)
Tuesday, 12 Oktober 2023 (at MARKK)
Indigenous gaming and programming: Lecture/Workshop with Outi Laiti
The project is funded by: Nordic Council of Ministers’ Culture and Art Programme, Nordic Culture Fund, Bundesprogramm “Neustart Kultur” der Stiftung Kunstfonds, NUE-Stiftung (Norddeutsche Stiftung für Umwelt und Entwicklung) aus Erträgen von BINGO! Die Umweltlotterie, Norwegische Botschaft, Kirchlicher Entwicklungsdienst der Nordkirche, Finnland-Institut.