Lisa Vipola in her gákti(Traditional Sami clothing) in felt at Luossavaara (Northern Sámi: Luossavárri) in front of Kebnekaise massive, 2013. Still from Trumman (2013)

Äkta sameslöjd (Genuine Sámi Handicraft)

Who is a genuine Sami? Can an immigrant from Iran become Swedish? Can one be Swedish without learning Swedish and without assimilate and affirm Swedish traditions? Does a Sámi must be in the ”right way ” to be accepted ?

” ... According to the Sami Parliament Act (chapter 1. § 2) there are two criteria. One is a subjective criterion, that you consider yourself to be a Sami. The second is an objective criterion which has with the Sami language to do. Either you have or have had Sami language at home, or that one of your parents has or had it, or that any of your grandparents have or had the Sami language at home. It is therefore important that you somehow can show that the person you are referring to has been able to speak the Sami language. How you do it can vary.”

Who has the right to discuss the matter at all? Have” innerstadsstockholmare” the right to go to Kärrtorp and demonstrate? Has white middle-class feminists the right to participate in hijabupproret? Can anyone be Jason? Can Gudrun Sjödén make a collection inspired by their Sami roots?

With the exhibition Äkta Sameslöjd I showed five bags(Lávka 1-5), similar to traditional Sami handicrafts . However, they are made of materials purchased at Panduro, instead of the traditional materials commonly used in Sámi Duodji (Sami crafts ).
In order to apply for Duodjimärket, an authenticity symbol, requires craftsman uses the substantive requirements Sameslöjdstiftelsen imposes on those who apply. The craftsman shall also have an education in Duodji, but the only education in Sami crafts in Jokkmokk applies ethnicity requirements.

The project Äkta Sameslöjd, has been shown at Gallery Syster in Luleå, Sigtuna Museum, Fylkingen and at Galleri GKF in Visby.

Äkta Sameslöjd handicraft has been described in the art-historical volume Sámi Art and Aesthetics, Contemporary Perspectives.

In the anthology Talande ting: Berättelser och materialitet by the MKC Researcher Charlotte Hyltén-Cavallius, she wrote about Äkta Sameslöjd in the article ”Om organisering av äkthet, erkännande och identifikation i sámi duodji”.

Several essays have been written about Äkta Sameslöjd, among others: RIGHTS AND PROTECTION IN CRAFTS IN SWEDEN, En studie i slöjdares förhållande till inspiration, identitet och kulturell appropriering by Annika Holmdahl, Bachelor’s thesis, University of Gothenburg. ”Äkta sameslöjd” Samtida diskurser om kulturell identitet by Linda Stenman, C-thesis, Uppsala University and De-Colonising the Western Gaze: The Portrait as a Multi-Sensory Cultural Practice by Angelica Boeck, Ph.D Theses, Technological University Dublin.