Acknowledgement of the Sámi people

OCA acknowledges the Sámi as one people, and as the Indigenous people of the Fennoscandian region. On the land of this region, Sápmi, the Sámi people have lived since time immemorial, respectfully harvesting from nature by fishing, farming, hunting and following reindeer, amongst other activities.

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Timimie Marak The sami Pavilion Michael Miller

Extended programme of 'The Sámi Pavilion'

Excerpt from “Raise Your Boys Right” by Timimie Gassko Märak. Performed at 'The Sámi Pavilion' at Biennale Arte 2022

Poet in Residence: Timimie Gassko Märak
Friday 22 April, 17:30 – 18:00

Timimie Gassko Märak is a poet, feminist and Sámi queer activist based in Stockholm. Märak puts just as much in between the lines they write as in the words they choose between the lines they write as in the words they choose to share. Like them, their poetry is a combination of deep roots and connections, read at big-city pace. They are the Word Weaver, also known as a poet in residence at 'The Sámi Pavilion' at Biennale Arte 2022, in a role that emphasises orality.

Day 1 of aabaakwad 2022: 'The Sámi Pavilion'. Opening ceremony on 22 April here. Courtesy of Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
Day 2 of aabaakwad 2022: 'The Sámi Pavilion'. Performances and Poetry on 23 April, including the performance 'The Sound of the Colour Field' by Rebecca Belmore in collaboration with Ocean Fellows. Courtesy of Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
Day 3 of aabaakwad 2022: 'The Sámi Pavilion'. Talks and panel discussions. Courtesy of Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

aabaakwad 2022: 'The Sámi Pavilion'
22 – 25 April, 2022

aabaakwad, the art world’s foremost Indigenous-led gathering, took place for the fourth time during April 22-25, 2022, as part of the extended program of ‘The Sámi Pavilion’ project under the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. Bringing together more than 100 artists, writers and curators from more than 25 First Nations and seven countries, aabaakwad 2022: ‘The Sámi Pavilion’ arrived in Venice to celebrate the Nordic Pavilion’s historic recognition of the art and sovereignty of the Sámi people, with four days of free events. Independently organized, artist centered and Indigenous-led, the gathering is co-presented by the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA).

Happening at the Don Orione Cultural Centre, with additional events at Ocean Space and the Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia, aabaakwad 2022: ‘The Sámi Pavilion’ opened on Friday, April 22 with a series of conversations on nationhood and artmaking featuring artists Sonia Boyce and Brett Graham, as well as musical performances by Kulleh Comrade and Jeremy Dutcher. The keynote was delivered by ‘The Sámi Pavilion’ artists Pauliina Feodoroff, Máret Ánne Sara and Anders Sunna in conversation with their knowledge keepers.

A series of live performances from poets and artists Denilson Baniwa, Rebecca Belmore, Timimie Märak and Janet Rogers happened on April 23 and 24. Scheduled speakers included Brook Andrew, Raven Chacon, Stan Douglas, Jeffrey Gibson, Ursula Johnson, Vernon Ah Kee, Alan Michelson, Darlene Naponse, Rachel Rakena, r e a, Judy Watson and many more.

Previously presented in 2020 at the Sydney Biennale, and in 2021 at the AGO, aabaakwad 2022: The Sámi Pavilion is generously supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, BLAK C.O.R.E, an initiative of Museums & Collections at the University of Melbourne, the Canada Council for the Arts, Ocean Space, Riddu Riđđu Festival, Stardust Arts, Terra Foundation for American Art and TBA21- Academy.

ÁRRAN 360°
26 August – 12 September

Six filmmakers have been chosen to represent the vibrant development of Sámi storytelling as a part of the ÁRRAN 360° exhibition, which will have its world premiere as part of ´The Sámi Pavilion´ at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia on 26th of August 2022. Initiated by ISFI, in collaboration with OCA and NFI.

ÁRRAN 360° will present 360° degree format, Virtual Reality and other digital short films which will be exhibited in a unique film lávvu, specially constructed for the Venice Biennale. ÁRRAN 360° features six commissions by today’s leading Sámi filmmakers and digital artists, who were chosen through the open call launched in June 2021. The assessment jury consisted of representatives from ISFI, OCA and NFI: Anne Lajla Utsi ISFI, Liisa Holmberg ISFI, Rune Tellefsen NFI and Katya García-Antón OCA.

TBA21—Ocean Fellowship 2022
April - June, 2022

Co-produced with Schmidt Ocean Institute, co-founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, and in collaboration with The Sámi Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022, the Office for Contemporary Art Norway, and aabaakwad, the Ocean Fellowship 2022 gathers participants to consider our kinship and duties of care toward the Ocean and its relations in multi-species communities and with diverse lifeforms. What are our responsibilities toward the Ocean? How can thinking from the Ocean build radically inclusive environments? Indigenous perspectives are brought to the center of our work to define resurgent values, forms, and stories and intertwine knowledges of the past, present, and futures of the Ocean we are all in relation with and dependent upon.

The five selected fellows are as follows Matti Aikio, Liryc Dela Cruz, Ursula Johnson, Fernanda Olivares Molina, and Aqui Thami. The participants were selected by an international jury composed of the two Ocean Fellowship mentors: artist Rebecca Belmore and ​​Professor of Sámi Culture and Literature Harald Gaski; along with Brook Andrew, artist; Katya García-Antón, director and chief curator, Office for Contemporary Art Norway; Wanda Nanibush, curator, Indigenous art, Art Gallery of Ontario; Markus Reymann, director of TBA21–Academy; and Megan Tamati Quenell, Curator of Modern & Contemporary Māori and Indigenous Art at the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand.

Sámi Curating and Sovereign Futures
19 - 25 April, 2022

During the opening week of 'The Sámi Pavilion' a collaboration between Sámi Centre for Contemporary Art (SDG), Office for Contemporary Art Norway, the Sámi Parliament and the Sámi Council was launched aimed at explores the potential of curatorial practices to be defined from Sámi perspectives, laying the ground for future opportunities of empowerment in the field. 'Sámi Curating and Sovereign Futures' is a pilot project taking place in Venice between 19th-25th April 2022, and including a special programme drafted together by the collaborating partners, in the context of ‘The Sámi Pavilion´ and its extensive programme, as well as the many pavilions and exhibitions to view in La Biennale di Venezia 2022. Following an Open Call the jury selected the participants Petra Unni Risten Laiti, Sunna Maaret Nousuniemi, Sandra Márjá West, Anders Rimpi, Berit Kristine Andersen Guvsám, Laila Susanna Kuhmunen, Anne Henriette Nilut and Kare Raija Anti.

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Emil Kárlsen, Lávre and Hildá Länsman performing at the celebratory dinner for 'The Sámi Pavilion', produced by Riddu Riđđ. Photo Gianmaria De Luca / OCA

Riddu Riđđu Festival in Venice
21-23 April, 2022

Riddu Riđđu presented young Sámi musicians Emil Kárlsen, Lávre and Hildá Länsman during the opening week of the ‘The Sámi Pavilion’ at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. Emil Kárlsen, Lávre and Hildá Länsman performed at aabaakwad 2022: 'The Sámi Pavilion' and the celebratory dinner for the opening of 'The Sámi Pavilion'. Emil Kárlsen, Lávre and Hildá Länsman are three exceptional musicians and some of the most exciting voices of the young generation of Sámi artists. They are all practitioners of luohti, or yoik, which is a Sámi tradition of singing and storytelling.