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Accepted Paper:

Markomeannu #2218: a bubble of hope in a post-apocalyptic wasteland  
Erika De Vivo (Università degli Studi di Torino)

Paper short abstract:

By examining the Márkomeannu Sami festival and the materials collected during ethnographic fieldwork on the Norwegian side of Sápmi, my contribution addresses the constant, evolving engagement the Márkasámi community has with the local landscape and the non-human beings embedded in such a landscape.

Paper long abstract:

The Márka, (Norwegian side of Sapmi), is a borderland area long regarded as peripheral and liminal both in Norwegian and in Sami milieus. Nevertheless, the Márka and its specific landscape are central in the identity of the local Márkasámi people. The relationships the Márkasámi have with the Márka are deeply rooted in Sami non-Christian worldviews and are bestowed with multiple layers of meaning. My contribution examines the relationships between Márkasámi and the Márka area by addressing them through the Márkomeannu festival.

Festivals like Markomeannu epitomize and influence contemporary Sami cultures. Consequently, environmental concerns, often discussed in Sami circles, emerge as both topics of discussion and elements of performative arts during Sami festivals. Merging fiction and reality, the 2018 Markomeannu edition was set 100 years in the future, in a time when the “World is about to collapse in power struggle, nuclear war, colonization and environmental crises”. Only Gallogieddi stands as a landscape of freedom for the indigenous Sami peoples. This concept introduced festivalgoers to a dystopic scenario denouncing contemporary environmental malpractices while, simultaneously, reaffirming Márkasámi connections with their land. Márkomeannu has always had strong political overtones and the depiction of a potential ecological crisis not only is in line with this political engagement but also offers locals as well as festivalgoers an opportunity to come closer to the Gallogieddi landscape and its culturally meaningful features.

Based on 16-months ethnographic fieldwork and on interviews with Sámi cultural activists, this contribution provides a glimpse into the complex relationship between different local actors (humans, non-humans) and the Márka landscape.

Panel PHum03b
(Staying with) post-anthropocentric landscape in and beyond ethnology: breaking the status quo [SIEF Working Group on Space-lore and Place-lore]
  Session 1 Wednesday 23 June, 2021, -