December 4, 2020 - Office for Contemporary Art Norway - Out now: a trilogy of new Indigenous writing
December 4, 2020

Office for Contemporary Art Norway

Designs: Hans Gremmen.

Out now: a trilogy of new Indigenous writing

Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) announces the completion of the publication trilogy: Mázejoavku. Indigenous Collectivity and Art (OCA / DAT, 2020)  Let the River Flow. An Indigenous Uprising and its Legacy in Art, Ecology and Politics (OCA / Valiz, 2020). Sovereign Words. Indigenous Art, Curation and Criticism (OCA / Valiz, 2018)

This trilogy makes essential reading for anyone wishing to gain an understanding of Indigenous perspectives regarding the urgent calls for decolonisation and Indigenisation in the global creative fields and beyond. The publications also set the scene for two important OCA projects: the exhibition Actions of Art & Solidarity opening January 15, 2021 at Kunsternes Hus, Oslo, as well as the transformation of the Nordic Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2022 by Sámi artists Máret Ánne Sara, Pauliina Feodoroff and Anders Sunna. Members of the curatorial group working on the pavilion have also contributed to the trilogy.

"With these publications we offer an insight into previously overlooked artistic and socio-political history, presenting Indigenous perspectives of the past, as well as visions for the future. These books manifest the crucial role Indigenous and Sámi thinkers and artists play as leading, innovative voices of their generation, and amplifiers of their peoples’ struggles and of their resilience." –Katya García-Antón, Director of Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA).

About the books:

Let the River Flow. An Indigenous Uprising and its Legacy in Art, Ecology and Politics
The Áltá Action (c. 1978–82) radically shook the course of history in the Nordic region. Its call to "let the river live" rallied against the construction of a large dam across the Álttáeatnu river on the Norwegian side of Sápmi, the Sámi homeland. The Action catapulted the demands for Indigenous sovereignty to the forefront of the politics of the time and grew into an unexpectedly broad movement of solidarity in which Sámi artists played a central role. 

Contributors: Sebastián Calfuqueo Aliste, Matti Aikio, Ivar Bjørklund, Mari Boine, Daniela Catrileo, Carolina Caycedo, Raven Chacon, Eva Maria Fjellheim, Katya García-Antón, Harald Gaski, Gunvor Guttorm, Aslak Holmberg, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Sofia Jannok, Rauna Kuokkanen, Wanda Nanibush, Beaska Niillas, Synnøve Persen, Katarina Pirak Sikku, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Niillas A. Somby, Paulus Utsi, Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, Magne Ove Varsi. Edited by Katya García-Antón, Harald Gaski and Gunvor Guttorm and co-published by Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) and Valiz, Amsterdam, 2020. Designed by Hans Gremmen, ISBN 978-94-92095-79-4.

"This is an incredible collection of artists, critical thinkers, writers and scholars who are reflecting and activating their self-determination within their own geopolitics of space and place. This anthology locates the connections from water, land and Indigenous knowledge as extremely critical if we want to find a way forward from the shackles of colonialism. These historical and contemporary perspectives and voices demonstrate stories of new paths, creative interventions and political engagement that is grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing." -Dr. Julie Nagam, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts, Collaboration and Digital Media and Associate Professor at the University of Winnipeg

Mázejoavku. Indigenous Collectivity and Art
The legendary Mázejoavku (1978–1983) was the first group of Sámi artists, and amongst the first worldwide, to declare itself an Indigenous artist collective. Its members fundamentally changed the perception of Sámi aesthetics in the Nordic region and took a front-line position in the reclaiming of Sámi sovereignty. Mázejoavku was a pivotal force during the groundbreaking Áltá Action.The group also spearheaded the creation of the SGS (Sámi Authors’ Association, 1979) and the SDS (Sámi Artists’ Association, 1979), central pillars of the Sámi art world. Their multifaceted work continues to be of great significance today.

Sámi author Susanne Hætta’s extensive interviews with the artists are complemented by essays written by Yorta Yorta curator Kimberley Moulton, Spanish/British art historian Katya García-Antón and Sámi scholar and duojár Liisa-Rávná Finbog. Edited by Katya García-Antón and co-published by Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) and the Sámi publishing house/record company DAT AS (2020). Designed by Hans Gremmen. ISBN 978-82-90625-97-4.

"Mázejoavku. Indigenous Collectivity and Art is a rigorous and heartfelt book that explores the history of the Mázejoavku Art Collective, and in doing so, mirrors the dignity and struggles of Indigenous artists and their communities around the world. A timely book—as timely as Indigeneity is in a world on the verge of disaster." -Pablo José Ramírez, Curator and Cultural Theorist/Adjunct Curator, First Nations and Indigenous Art, Tate.

Sovereign Words. Indigenous Art, Curation and Criticism

The trilogy is published and distributed internationally with publishers Valiz, Amsterdam and DAT, Guovdageaidnu.

Due to popular demand Sovereign Words. Indigenous Art, Curation and Criticism is out of print. The trilogy is available at a special price with Sovereign Words as a free digital PDF. Order through

Office for Contemporary Art Norway
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