Posted by: Marte Spangen | October 27, 2015

Without a trace?

Sámi culture in the Viking Age as presented at the Swedish History Museum

Sámi culture in the Viking Age as presented at the Swedish History Museum

My most recent article “Without a trace? The Sámi in the Swedish History Museum” is just being published in very good company in a special issue of Nordic Museology devoted to “Rethinking Sámi cultures in museums”. The article is a reworked and extended version of my presentation at the Viking conference “Skandinavia: En, tre, eller mange?” in Oslo last December. It features the following abstract:

“Around 2005, the Swedish History Museum (SHM) in Stockholm reworked their Vikings exhibition, aiming to question simplistic and erroneous understandings of past group identities. In the process, all references to the Sámi were removed from the exhibition texts. This decision has been criticised by experts on Sámi pasts. In this article, it is argued that we can talk about a Sámi ethnic identity from the Early Iron Age onwards. The removal of references to the Sámi in the exhibition texts is discussed accordingly, as well as the implicit misrepresentations, stereotypes and majority attitudes that are conveyed through spatial distribution, choice of illustrations, lighting, colour schemes and the exhibition texts. Finally, some socio-political reasons for the avoidance of Sámi issues in Sweden are suggested, including an enduring colonialist relation to this minority.”

You can download the article here, and you can order the whole issue on the Nordic Museology webpage. Comments are, as always, very welcome.

I would like to thank all the readers of this blog for following me through another eventful year – with only half a year to go before my thesis has to be done, I hope 2016 will be similarly productive!

In the meantime; Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!



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