Residency, Hotagen Sweden

11-13th of October, Humans & Soil had their first residency – in Hotagen, Jämtland where Marit Shirin Carolasdotter has her Sámi roots, and is also trying to create an art space/meeting point for the surrounding villages and its spiritual people. Participants: Nina Nordvall Vahlberg, Annelie Nederberg, Marit Shirin Carolasdotter.

This area of Sápmi holds a great history of co-existing between artists, spiritual practitioners, farmers, elder and young – with the mountains and wilderness and its nature untouched. We want to keep the joyful spirit of the people in this area by spreading national and international art combined with rural development in this particular area. This residency was on our own initiative, using the space to experiment with sound composing and jojk, voice and dance. It was our first time working together, using improvisation as a method and experimenting with movement and immersive concepts.

The jojk was echoing through the landscape – although we were working inside a conference room at former Hotagens Kurs och Konferensgård.
The glittering sounds of metal bowls and coffee grinder was creating a 360 surrounding sound that reminded us of the wild waters of the lake outside the building.

After we started working in the space on Saturday, we noticed the front door of the building and its surrounding walls was covered with moths, spreading their fragile wings safely over the blue-painted walls. We heard that according to the First Nations in Canada, the months are a sign of ancestors blessing you – and indeed we imagined us being warmly welcomed into the old building, maybe even observed from afar.

The space is hopefully going to be developed by our group in collaboration with local businesses or freelance artists within the area – to see if we can highlight the history of Sámi and Swedish culture in Hotagen, and also give the opportunity for South Sámi culture to be more recognised, established and developed through intergenerational work.

Humans & Soil is working toward not only performance works or artistic processes, but also with collaboration on a smaller scale, with focus on spreading information on land rights and indigenous cultural politics through our research and participating in residencies.

Photos by Timo Truyts

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