Humans & Soil

Humans & Soil is an artistic collaborative project that focus on land rights from an indigenous perspective such as the Sámi of the north and the Ainu people of Japan. The project is initiated by Marit Shirin Carolasdotter, a Sámi – Kurdish Choreographer, Dancer and Researcher currently based in Umeå, Sweden.
The project is divided into two parts; a lecture research series that brings up the subject of the indigenous body being exposed to commodification, museal representation and discourses on exploitation of indigenous body and land.
The second part is focused on stage production and practical development of performance, unifying choreographic practices and sound/music scapes that form an international collaboration between indigenous and non-indigenous artists.

The main study conducted is through the corporeality of humans’ relationship to soil, challenging the stereotypical views on the indigenous peoples’ relationship to nature by materialising the body in memorial space, examining the concrete aspects of the body despite cultural connotations. The background behind the creation of the project was to bring forth the idea of freeing oneself from formed identity by modes of power and instead show the direct consequences of how exploitation of land and resources are directly affecting living and dead bodies in indigenous communities.

The project has an ongoing collaboration with Ainu Womens’ Association, Sapporo Japan and with CEMIPOS research centre where Marit Shirin had her premiere in AIRY artist-in-residency in Kofu City April 2019, and further developed her project with a performance in Sapporo Pirka Kotan (Ainu cultural centre) in Hokkaido in May 2019.

The project is focused into two parts;

Humans & Soil Research series
Choreographer and researcher Marit Shirin Carolasdotter with collaborative partners from Universities in Sweden and Japan working on artistic research for the benefit of indigenous bodily rights

Of itself : In itself
Performance created 2020 by Humans & Soil, Sámi, Swedish and Ainu artists.
Premiering work-in-progress at Norrlandsoperan, 4th of March during Ubmejen Biejvieh, Sámi Week in Umeå 2020

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

“of itself : in itself” World premiere in Norrlandsoperan 2021
Contact for booking!

Video produced by Sebastian Saury

photo by Sage Szkabarnicki Stuart



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


2020.02.03 – 2020.02.29
Artistic Residency in Tärnaby, Västerbotten
With support from Dans i Västerbotten & Storuman Kommun

Performance of work-in-progress at 18:00, Folkets Hus, Tärnaby
Supported by Dans i Västerbotten & Storuman Kommun


Performance of work-in-progress, at Norrlandsoperan Samiska Veckan Umeå, 12:00 – 13:00
With support from Dans i Västerbotten/Norrlandsoperan

Performance, Humans & Soil Research Series
Feministiskt forum, Stockholm (tbc)
In collaboration with May-Britt Öhman from Umeå University and Sameednama Friddja Universitehta

Past Performances & Residencies

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

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

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