Volume 18 Number 17 April 28, 2017

“Being Sami is My Strength”: Contemporary Sami Artists

Inkeri Ruokonen
University of Helsinki, Finland

Laurie Eldridge
Arizona State University, USA

Citation: Ruokonen, I., & Eldridge, L. (2017). “Being Sami is my strength”: Contemporary Sami artists. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 18(17). Retrieved from http://www.ijea.org/v18n17/.


The aim of this case study was to discover how three Sami artist present their culture in their arts and how their art grows from Sami traditions. Our first purpose was to find out how they use their art forms’ roots to create new ideas. The other purpose of this study was to bring into discussion the importance of a minority culture’s arts in teacher education programmes. The data was collected from the writings of and interviews with three Sami artists for whom Sami tradition is strongly present. Sami artists can be seen as an open space for challenging preoccupations and prejudices in which traditions and artistic practices work as playful means of questioning the ways in which subjects, social interactions, and practices are constructed. In these artistic processes, subjects and cultures become hybrid and a changing force for interaction among cultural traditions, other cultural ideas, and the environment to generate new arts.

Visual Abstract

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