Katya García-Antón, Harald Gaski and Gunvor Guttorm (eds.), 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. Many key questions raised by the Áltá Action pertinent in the region and beyond remain unresolved today.
Let the River Flow makes essential reading for any discussion regarding how governments, artists and citizens will act upon these questions within the frame of today’s worldwide call for decolonization and Indigenization.
New essays by 24 leading Indigenous artists, writers and scholars as well as allies, together with key existing texts, focus on the significant political and artistic reverberations of the Action past and present. These include current Indigenous discourses and protests across Sápmi, and internationally.
Let the River Flow addresses readers with an interest in decolonial, Indigenous, solidarity and environmental questions within artistic practice and beyond. [publisher’s words]
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
Graphic Design: Hans Gremmen
Published by Valiz with Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA)
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