Bodø2024 aims to bring Sámi drama to a larger audience, introduces a theater trilogy

One of the performances is named after a reindeer fence, or "Giedtine" is Sámi. Photo: Dan Jåma

Last week, Bodø European Capital of Culture 2024 and Åarjelhsaemien Theaters signed the agreement for the theater trilogy “Biegke Biehteme – Who owns the wind?” With this, Sámi drama will reach a larger audience towards 2024 and spread the Sámi perspective on highly relevant topics.

Åarjelhsaemien Teatere will, together with Nordland Teater (in Mo i Rana) and Turnéteatret in Trøndelag, create a trilogy where Arctic mythology meets a South Sámi bear myth and the Chinese saga of The Chalk Circle finds a new dimension.

The first two parts are produced and played within the theaters’ respective touring areas, before being compressed and united into one piece that will be shown in a walk through the Norwegian city of Bodø, premiering on January 14, 2024.

Highly relevant societal issues

The theme is the love of a living and free nature, man’s ancient relationship with animals, and justice for the weak and unprotected future on earth.

“A tireless search for energy and technical development has resulted in climate change that puts society’s infrastructures to the test. Science seeks technical solutions to maintain living standards and production while exploiting the earth’s last untouched natural areas. It’s a renewed search for the ancient Perpetuum mobile – the eternity machine.

“We have established a mantra that the elected politicians and the profit-hungry capitalists are using all over the world now – the green shift, the green shift. It is also high time for the Sámi people to show the consequences of what we experience as green colonialism,” explained theater director Cecilia Persson in a press release.

A major investment

“This theater trilogy is one of the major investments of Bodø2024, and through this agreement with South Sámi Theater, we now ensure that the project is fully realized.

“There are highly topical societal issues that are debated through these performances, where one must take a stand on difficult questions about the green shift and how it affects us all, but perhaps especially Sámi culture and way of life. We at Bodø2024 are very much looking forward to continuing the collaboration and to seeing the results of the performances in the years to come,” said director of Bodø2024 André Wallann Larsen.

About the performances

1 – Giedtine (meaning, reindeer fence) – who owns the wind?

The performance is an adapted interpretation of the Chinese The Chalk Circle story by Li Qianfu (and Klabund‘s take), which was also used by the father of political theater, Bertolt Brecht, in his time. The backdrop for the performance is the wind power development on Øyfjellet in Vefsn municipality, Nordland, which is slated for completion by September 2022.

Collaborating partner: Nordland Teater
Introductory premiere: September 25, 2020 in Mosjøen
Tour in Nordland / Trøndelag: September-October 2020

2 – The voice of the Allaq fire

Three Arctic tales are intertwined into a prophecy that unfolds after the greenhouse effect has burned down vulnerable Arctic regions. Two women are left to die (in Alaska), a lone figure survives (in Greenland), and love overcomes death in this take of a Sámi bear myth. An early interpretation of the material was staged by the Sámi National Theater Beaivváš in 2010.

Collaborating partner: The Touring Theater in Trøndelag
Premiere: January 13, 2023, and a subsequent tour in Trøndelag

3 – The Tjaetsie water’s memory

The end of the trilogy will take place outdoors, as a yoik, a reminder, a sung story about “the good times” as we remember it: when humans and animals lived in balance with each other on earth.

Premiere: January 14, 2024, in Bodø

Source: #NorwayTodayTravel

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