The collective Søstrene Suse invites us to an audio cinema in which audiences come together to listen and learn with three generations of experiences for the fight for Sápmi.
The struggle to restrain exploitation of natural resources and the consequences of extractivism have a lengthy history that remains both present and visible. This is particularly true in Sápmi, where new mines are being developed, dams are being built, and deforestation continues. During Luleå Biennial 2022, the collective Søstrene Suse invited us to an audio cinema, in which audiences came together to listen and learn with three generations of experiences for the fight for Sápmi.
The concept of audio cinema involves removing the visual aspects conventional in cinema and retaining only the audio track. Based on collective listening, the audio format diverts the experience from becoming a solitary one, and this communal quality serves as the starting point for exchange and change.
The episode of the audio cinema was exhibited and broadcasted as part of the biennale. Baajh vaeride årrodh! was the third episode of the radio documentary I Elsa Laulas fotspor gjennom Sápmi – 100 år med Samisk rettighetskamp (“Following Elsa Laula’s footsteps through Sápmi – 100 years of fighting for Sami rights”). In the early twentieth century, Elsa Laula Renberg was one of the key organisers of the struggle for Sami rights. In Baajh vaeride årrodh!, we encounter three generations of Sami women, who provide oral testimonies of how they have fought to protect nature in various ways. The story departs from the Alta conflict, a struggle regarding the expansion of hydroelectric power in the Alta River that began in the 1970s. The audio cinema here becomes a format for intergenerational learning, to listen and start conversations about complex questions.
In addition to the talk recorded as part of the Earthed Imagination seminar, we are linking to an academic article by Susanne Normann, one of the members of Søstrene Suse, published in the journal of Community Psychology in Global Perspective (Vol 5, Issue 2, 1 – 18) where she introduces the work and puts in a wider context.
Baajh vaeride årrodh! (Let the Mountains Live!) is part of Urgent Pedagogies Issue#6: Earthed Imagination
collective consists of journalists Astrid Fadnes, Ingrid Fadnes, Eva Maria Fjellheim, and Susanne Normann. They have collaborated on various projects in South America, Norway, and Sápmi in which they have addressed issues like feminism, extractivism, and the autonomy and territorial struggles of indigenous peoples.