A conversation with Sami artist Máret Ánne Sara and Katya García-Antón

Published 2017/01/13

Photo: OCA / Cultureshock Media

Norsk versjon Sámegiel veršuvdna

Sami artist Máret Ánne Sara discusses her work in conversation with OCA Director Katya García-Antón
With an acoustic performance by Sami musician Elle Márjá Eira

Thursday 19 January 2017, 19:30 – 20:30

Small Projects
Grønnegata 23
9008 Tromsø

With the screening of a series of short films commissioned by OCA

Thursday 19 January 2017, 18:00 – 21:00

Tromsø bibliotek og byarkiv (Tromsø Library)
Grønnegata 94
9008 Tromsø

OCA is pleased to present Sami artist Máret Ánne Sara in a conversation about her work with the OCA Director Katya García-Antón.

Within the backdrop of the marked increased attention to indigenous artistic practice across the globe, Sami artist Máret Ánne Sara will address the legacy of colonialism on indigenous communities and their artistic strategies today within a planetary context. Sara is part of a new generation of Sami artists who are asserting the rights of their community through artistic practices.

Her art project ‘Pile o’ Sápmi’ is scheduled to open in Tromsø on 23 January with an intense week of programming. Selected artworks from ‘Pile o´Sapmi´ will be on view at various venues around Tromsø, both in galleries and public spaces. Máret Ánne Sara’s art installation ‘Pile o’ Sápmi’ addresses recent historical pressure on indigenous herders and animal populations across resourceful regions inhabited by natives. In particular, it aims to address the Norwegian state’s current enforcement of a law that seeks to reduce the reindeer population across northern Norway/Sápmi, and which has met with strong resistance from the reindeer-herding community. Furthermore, this talk and the exhibition opening subsequently in Tromsø will take place within the context of a court case initiated by Sara’s reindeer-herding brother Jovsset Ánte Sara (b. 1992) in protest at the enforced decimation of his herd. Jovsset Ánte Sara won the case in March 2015, but the Norwegian government appealed. The second hearing will take place this time in Tromsø.

The discussion with Máret Ánne Sara at Small Projects marks a commitment by OCA to urgent, contemporary indigenous issues of global importance, which are a prelude to the Sami 100th jubilee, and whose official celebrations will commence on 6 February 2017 in Tråante (Tråante is South Sami for Trondheim).*

The event will open with an acoustic performance by the musician Elle Márjá Eira.

In tandem with the discussion at Small Projects, from 18:00 to 21:00 OCA will screen five portraits, short films commissioned as part of OCA’s project ‘Thinking at the Edge of the World. Perspectives from the North’, at the Tromsø bibliotek og byarkiv (Tromsø Library). The short films, with a total screening time of 30 minutes, document artistic and activist thinking in Sápmi among members of the legendary Máze Sami Artist Group and today’s emerging generations. Click here to preview the films.

For more information, please contact OCA’s Communication Manager Tara Hassel.

For information about the weekly programme of ‘Pile o´ Sápmi’ in Tromsø, please visit

For details on the exhibition ‘Pile o´ Sápmi’, which will open on 24 January at Small Projects, please contact

Máret Ánne Sara
Máret Ánne Sara is a Sámi artist educated both within journalism and the arts. As an editor and indigenous journalist, she has covered indigenous issues around the world, while her creative mind has observed and picked up artistic influences internationally. Máret Ánne comes from a traditional reindeer-herding family situated in the heart of the Sápmi region. She studied art/illustration in the UK, and product design in Guovdageaidnu (Guovdageaidnu is North Sami for Kautokeino), where she currently lives and works. Máret Ánne has designed visuals for Sámi artists and fashion designers. She is a published novelist and has exhibited in the field of visual arts since 2003. She is one of the founding members of the Dáiddadállu/ Artists Collective Kautokeino.

About 'Thinking at the Edge of the World. Perspectives from the North’
The event forms part of ‘Thinking at the Edge of the World. Perspectives from the North’, a broad cross-disciplinary project exploring the cultural history of Northern Norway, curated by the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA). Structured through a series of regional and international dialogues and partnerships, the project is unfolding in various forms and locations across Norway and beyond, including research, artists’ residencies, exhibitions, text commissions and a number of activities implemented through an OCA pilot office in Tromsø as well as its premises in Oslo.

* 100 years ago, on 6 February 1917, the first congress of Sami people was held in the Methodist Church in Tråante (Tråante is South Sami for Trondheim) at the initiative of Elsa Laula Renberg, an advocate of Sami rights and leader of the Sami Women's Association. The Norwegian Sami Parliament (Tråante), Trondheim Municipality, South Trondelag County Council and North Trondelag City Council will mark this historical event with a shared celebration. Associations and institutions from Sápmi and the Nordic region have been invited to join the anniversary from all the cultural fields including music, film, theatre, literature, sports, visual arts, traditional handicrafts, food and religion.