Søstrene Suse

Baajh vaeride årrodh! (Let the Mountains Live!), 2018 Søstrene Suse, Luleå konsthall. Photographer Thomas Hämén.

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. Søstrene Suse invites us to an audio cinema, in which audiences will come together to listen to three generations' experiences from the fight for Sápmi.

Here, we will hear Baajh vaeride årrodh!, 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 20th 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 give us their accounts of how they have fought to protect nature in various ways. The story begins with the Alta controversy, which revolved around the expansion of hydroelectric power plants along the Alta and Kautokeino rivers in the 1970s and 80s, and then moves on to other important issues that have been contested since then.

 

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 change.

 

The Søstrene Suse 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.