Korinna Korsström-Magga

The world's population growth with its increasing need for resources, along with globalisation and climate change, are seriously affecting minority and Indigenous peoples’ cultures in the North. Sámi reindeer herders have to adjust their livelihood because of other stakeholders that are desiring to use the lands where the reindeer graze. This research project encourages the reindeer herders to come forward and introduce their livelihood and profession as vivid, culturally sustainable and valuable, and as a source of knowledge that is needed as the world faces climate change and other challenges while seeking environmental sustainability. The study uses an art-based action research strategy, implementing the Photovoice-method as a means to collect data and bring forward the reindeer herders’ daily life. Five Sámi reindeer herder families from the region around Lake Inari in northern Finland took snapshots of their everyday life around the year. With the photographs, they built an exhibition about their daily lives and also published an even more descriptive picture book. Art-based actions emphasise the decolonial potency of participative action research and co-research. The research was conducted by an art-educator-researcher, also involved herself in reindeer herding, which opened deeper possibilities to plan, operate and fulfil the research actions to benefit the Sámi reindeer herders and also to develop art-based action methods as a research strategy.

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