The New Sámi Renaissance: Nordic Colonialism, Social Change and Indigenous Cultural Policy (NESAR)


NESAR is an international and interdisciplinary research project which examines how the dynamics of colonialism and Sámi cultural revitalization are articulated on the level of contemporary arts and popular culture. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway's program for Media and Culture.

Our point of departure is that Nordic colonialism is not a thing of the past - it is reproduced actively in the present. Secondly, we recognize that along with Sámi cultural revitalization, there is also growing general interest in Sáminess across the Nordic societies, which is reflected especially in the arts and popular culture as Sámi artists, productions, designs and themes have become increasingly popular and prominent. Our aim is to investigate how the relationships between the Sámi and majority societies are contested, reorganized, and reproduced in this context, and to explore what are the new issues, concerns and possibilities that the growing interest in Sámi arts, culture and identity is presenting to the Sámi society on the level of cultural politics and policy.

NESAR seeks to bring together concepts and approaches in Cultural Studies, Indigenous Studies and Sámi Research, and it is conducted through active collaboration between Sámi and non-Sámi scholars in Norway, Sweden, Finland and North America (Canada). The project lasts three years, from August 2021 to July 2024, and it is based at the Arctic University Museum of Norway in Tromsø.

The project is affiliated with the SAMFORSK (Research on Sámi research and Representation of Sámi Cultural Heritage) research group hosted by the Arctic University Museum and the Academy of Fine Arts (UMAK).