The Ontological Politics of Sámi Cultural Heritage – Weaving the multiple realities of Sámi cultural heritage
Sámi cultural heritage is in many ways present in the Sámi society: it exists both in everyday life as well as in communal and societal practices and habits. It is embodied by, and embodies, Sámi values, meanings and material objects. Cultural heritage is also a subject of legal and political norms – it is regulated, defined and protected by various conventions, norms and political structures and procedures which all engender particular understanding on what the Sámi cultural heritage is and can be. Cultural heritage lives and is given different meanings also in the art, museum and social and political action. All these mentioned practices construct Sámi history, present and future.
We are interested in these intertwining projects, the multiple worlds of Sámi cultural heritage – we study the ways cultural heritage exists in the Sámi society. What kinds of Sámi worlds and dimensions of time and place does cultural heritage open for us through the various practices and relations embodying Sámi cultural heritage? How are these realities constructed, under what kind of conditions and dynamics of power? What could be the Sámi ways to examine and define cultural heritage? In the projects we discuss the ontological politics of Sámi cultural heritage in the means of science and art, co-developing Sámi approaches to the theme.