Art, climate crisis, and activism: Vogue Scandinavia meets the thee Sámi artists representing the Nordic countries at one of the world's most prestigious exhibitions
The Nordic contributions to this year’s Venice Biennale will be a game-changer. Three indigenous Sámi artists hailing from the Sápmi region —which spans Norway, Finland, Sweden and the Kola Peninsula, Russia —will transform the Nordic Pavilion in the heart of the Giardini into the Sámi Pavilion. The exhibition, by artists Pauliina Feodoroff, Máret Ánne Sara, and Anders Sunna, will address the multiple problems that their generation faces – and what’s at stake if Sámi voices remain unheard.
This is not the first time a national pavilion is honouring indigenous artists. In 2019, the Inuit art collective Isuma took over the Canadian Pavilion, while Maori artist Lisa Reihana represented New Zealand. But never before has a pavilion’s name been altered to reflect the deep recognition of an indigenous people’s connection to a region that transgresses national borders. In a reconciliatory gesture to mark this historic event, Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway will inaugurate the Sámi Pavilion in Venice on April 21.