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Check it out: Rethinking Nordic Colonialism

September 25, 2009

I hope to write more about the topic of colonialism, race and Norway soon, but I wanted to point you guys to the incredible exhibit right away called “Rethinking Nordic Colonialism”. The site includes art exhibits, films, and essays, all for the following purpose:

With Rethinking Nordic Colonialism: A Postcolonial Exhibition Project in Five Acts, we aim to shed light over this history. Not only do we hope to explain why this past has been forgotten in some parts of the region. We also want to show how this history continues to structure the Nordic societies today, and how our contemporary problems of intolerance, xenophobia, and nationalism have their roots in this past.

There is a lot here. I was particularly moved by Rauna Kuokkonen’s essay “Sami Women, Autonomy, and Decolonization in the Age of Globalization” (found in Act 4) which highlights particularly the point that we are not in a “Post-Colonial” Age as many like to name it, but rather colonialism continues to affect marginalized populations, and particularly women.

I also really enjoyed Marja Helander’s installation (Act 2). Her photographs are about negotiating her bi-cultural identity as a woman. Her father is Sami (an indigenous group located in northern Scandinavia) but she was raised in southern Finland. This one is entitled, “Tourist Attractions: Finland”:

There’s lots to see, I encourage you to poke around, and I’ll write something more informative when I have time!

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