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Sámi film production and ‘constituted precarity’

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This article seeks to both understand and characterize the intrinsic power relationships at the centre of the contemporary Sámi media industries. In the case of the Sámi, the Finno-Ugric indigenous minority who primarily inhabit the northernmost regions of Europe, the need to establish visibility through a variety of film and media channels is amplified by their ongoing constitutional marginalization in both political and economic forums. However, this article asks whether the Sámi face uniquely precarious barriers as indigenous media producers by introducing the concepts of ‘constituted precarity’ and ‘symbolic cultural labour’. Specifically, it frames the idea of constituted precarity as a type of ideological power relationship where the ‘host’ nations strategically engineer the precariousness of Sámi media platforms, primarily through policy. By examining the Sámi film industry’s position in Norway’s regional film funding infrastructure, we can identify different forms of precarity and manifestations of indigenous cultural labour that will help us determine whose interests are represented in the ongoing debates over cultural ownership and Sámi self-determination.
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Keywords: International Sámi Film Institute; Norwegian Film Institute; Norwegian Ministry of Culture; Sámi cinema; constituted precarity; cultural labour

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000088091613University of Warwick

Publication date: June 1, 2020

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  • The Journal of Scandinavian Cinema is a new scholarly journal devoted to film in the Scandinavian countries. It aims to become the prime site for excellent research and engaging discussions on cinema in Scandinavia, both within the national context of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and as a region existing in a globalized world.
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