Susanne Hætta

Haetta, Susanne.jpg
Photo by Ingerid Jordal

I would like to expand my writing and my artistic practice, and move into curatorial practices. A stay-at-home curatorial can be a starting point for a new direction. I am a Sámi, and as you read this, I am curating my first exhibition, opening Nov 22 in Guovdageaidnu, Sápmi (supported by the Sámi Parliament in Norway, RiddoDuottarMusea and OCA). Dáiddadállu, the Sámi art collective where I am a partner, gave me this opportunity. The exhibition is called Iežamet, which means What is ours. It consists of one artwork from each of the eight members of the Mázejoavku, pioneers on the Sámi art scene, that formed a collective over 40 years ago, and thus redefined what Sámi art and artist were, and could be. A book about the Mázejoavku, written by me and published by OCA and DAT, is published Nov 5.

“I would like to investigate early Sámi photographers (before 1975), that pointed their lenses towards their own people and culture. This grant gives me the possibility to start researching, for the benefit of the Sámi community, both artists and others”.

There aren’t too many Sámi curators, and I have a humble ambition to move into that area, and possibly be a servant for my people by highlighting Sámi artists and duojárs. I mostly use photography in my own artistic practice, and I want to focus more on Sámi photographic practice than others has done before. As far as I know, there haven’t been any exhibitions of a certain scale concentrating on Sámi photographers. I am especially interested in early Sámi photographers, pointing the camera at themselves, their own lives, their lands. Numerous photographers have portrayed the Sámi people since cameras were invented, but the outsider’s look is so old now. It’s shows curiosity, but is can also be patronizing, colonial and exoticising. Sámi photographers will be my focal point for investigations in the years to come, and I would very much like to bring them out into the light, starting now.