Accepted Paper:

The hybridity of Sámi expressive culture  


Coppélie Cocq (Umeå University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper investigates the internet as the locus for expressive culture with focus on the specific case of the Sámi. It examines the intersection, overlap and tensions between online and offline practices and their implications for revitalization movements.

Paper long abstract:

The internet has become a site for adaptation of traditional cultural practices as well as production and emergence of new ones. In this presentation, I propose to investigate the internet as the locus for expressive culture in a context of revitalization. It focuses on the specific case of the Sámi, indigenous people of Scandinavia. Today, we witness a strong process of revitalization within the Sámi community, i.e. an effort to construct a more satisfying culture. Revitalization is initiated and put in practice on many scenes, and the internet is certainly one of these. This paper investigates the intersection, overlap and tensions between the online and the offline, in order to highlight the possibilities and challenges that the internet implies for revitalization movements. First, I discuss examples of aesthetic practices where traditions are identified as a source of origin, but where internet-based self-representations cast their shadow on contemporary traditions. Then, I examine the mode of hybridity that takes place between the vernacular and the institutional when expressive culture is relocated online. The third mode of hybridity I investigate is between local and global aspects, i.e. what happens when culturally specific aspects address a global audience. I suggest this three-fold model of approach of hybridity as a fruitful angle of approach for the study of indigenous expressive culture in a digital age.

Panel P18
Expressive culture and identities in a digital age