Humans & Soil

Humans & Soil is an ongoing collaborative project that explores humans’ relationship to earth from the perspective of native cultures such as; the Sami of the north and the Ainu of Japan.
Our organisation consists of dancers, musicians and writers from Sweden, Saepmie and Hokkaido with the aim to highlight discourses in indigenous cultural policies, non-repatriation of bones and land rights. Trough performance, choreo-activism and artistic processes, we would like to emphasise the misuse of indigenous bodies by acting colonised systems and institutions in Sweden and Japan through showing our art to an intergenerational audience.Humans & Soil is currently collaborating with the Nordic Opera and Västerbotten Region to have a residency in Daerna, February 2020, continued collaboration with Sami art-platforms and a presentation at the Sámi Week in Ubmeje, Umeå 2020.

In May 2019 I am working in Hokkaido, Japan together with Professor Hiroshi Maruyama and Ainu Womens’ Association in a Sámi – Ainu cultural exchange.

I will be having workshops in Sapporo Pirka Kotan (Ainu Cultural Centre) as well as a showing of my performance; where I am portraying the current issue of non-repatriation of Ainu and Sámi remains. I want to use movement as a medium to create a dialogue between our indigenous culture and research the discourse in the colonial bill of the New Ainu Policy, as well as Sweden’s non-ratification of the ILO convention 169.
In May I am also invited to Sapporo School of Freedom to give a lecture on Indigenous Contemporary Art, where I will discuss representation vs. non-representation of normative ways of presenting indigenous art. The lecture is based upon my own experience of being in between several cultures, and my personal questions and critique on multi-ethnical identities.

The goal with my project is to network and meet artists from Japan, Sápmi, Sweden and Ainu territory and to join forces toward a sustainable development of cultural rights between our countries. The Dance should have the opportunity the to take place on the international performing art scene, and the movers should have agency and self determination on how their dance will be expressed.

Through research, participating and through in-depth studies of lifestyle routines – I wish to spread information on the why there is a desire of indigenous peoples to be recognised as a Native autonomous group, and how artistic work is produced and changing the environment of the current cultural politics in Scandinavia and Japan.
As an artist and modern nomad myself – I wish to put these studies into an artistic and journalistic practice that can spread roots to a wide audience and organisations. 

Grants and support:
Kulturrådet – Projektbidrag till fria aktörer inom dans (…) 2020
Samerådet, Norway – Projektbidrag 2020
Region Jämtland/Härjedalen – Projektbidrag 2020
Dans i Västerbotten – Residensstöd 2020
Norrlandsoperan – Produktionsstöd 2020 & 2021
Konstnärsnämnden – Internationellt kulturutbyte 2019


Marit Shirin Carolasdotter
Dancer, Project leader, Umeå

Nina Nordvall Vahlberg
Musician, Jokkmokk

Linnéa Sundling
Dancer, Stockholm/Umeå

Tsugumi Matsudaira
Dancer, Ainu Womens’ Association, Japan

Sebastian Björkman
Dancer, Ammarnäs/Stockholm

Zayri Ramark
Dancer, Stockholm

Juvvá Pittja
Poet, writer, Umeå

photo by Sage Szkabarnicki Stuart



Humans & Soil JAPAN Trailer from Marit Shirin Rasol on Vimeo.


Residency in Hotagen, Krokoms Kommun Jämtland
In collaboration with Hotagens Kurs och Konferensgård


Lecture, Skellefteå Berättarfestival
In collaboration with Skellefteå Konstmuseum, Anna Norlander Västerbottens Konstkonsulent & Dans i Västerbotten

Performance in Folkets Hus, Lecture & research in Tärnaby, Västerbotten
In collaboration with Dans i Västerbotten, Cemipos Research Center & Dellie Maa indigenous film festival

2019.11.03 – 2019.11.11
Research & collaborative meeting with Barents Dance Council, BDC in Hammerfest, Norway
In collaboration with Dans i Västerbotten & Norrbotten & BDC

Performance & Screening of short documentary “Human Remains”
in Galleriet på Tegen, Stockholm 23 nov at 15:00
Part of the exhibition “Motståndets tid – om dekolonisering”
In collaboration with Native Moving images, Antonie Frank Grahamsdaughter & Ulrika Flink

2020.02.01 – 2020.03.01
Artistic Residency in Tärnaby, Västerbotten
With support from Dans i Västerbotten/Norrlandsoperan

Performance of work-in-progress, Samiska Veckan Umeå
With support from Dans i Västerbotten/Norrlandsoperan

Past Performances & Residencies

Performance in ‘Storumandagarna’ (Solo by Marit Shirin Carolasdotter)
In Storuman, Västerbotten
In collaboration with Norrlandsoperan

Images from Sapporo Pirka Kotan with Ainu Women’s Association,
Performance at AIRY Artist-in-residence in Kofu City, Yamanashi
Photos by Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart