Creative Sovereignty Embodied Practices and Kinship
Gunvor Guttorm, Harald Gaski, Hannah Presley, aqui Thami
Gunvor Guttorm is born in Kárášjohka, on the Norwegian side of Sápmi, and live in Jåhkåmåhkke on Swedish side of Sápmi with her family. In 2003 she completed her PhD in duodji at University of Troms, Norway. Currently she is Professor in duodji at Sámi allaskuvla/Sámi University of Applied Sciences, Guovdageaidnu. For decades (since 1990ies) she has patiently been struggling for higher education in duodji, an education grounded in Sámi worldview, philosophy and in Sámi language. Together with her colleagues she has built up bachelor and master’s programmes in duodji, which is the only in its kind in Sápmi. Little by little higher duodji education has been accepted as an equal art education both in the Sámi and Western society. She has also been rector/principle at Sámi allaskuvla/Sámi University of Applied Sciences.
Her research is interconnected with cultural expression in the Sámi and indigenous societies, especially duodji. The focus of her research deals with duodji in a contemporary setting, and indigenous people’s context, which her PhD also was. She has in her approaches tried to understand duodji of today, by questioning what position and meaning it has had and has for the Sámi societies, and in the Indigenous community.
She has written several articles about how the traditional knowledge of duodji is transformed to the modern lifestyle, both in Sámi, Norwegian and in English. In an Indigenous world, she has participated as invited speaker as well as presenter at Indigenous research congresses. Guttorm has also participated in exhibitions in Sápmi and abroad. From 2016 -2018 she worked in a reference group for the exhibition “Let the River Flow”, organized by the Office for Contemporary Art, Oslo. She has also been editor together with Harald Gaski and Katya Garcia Antón “Let the River Flow. An Indigenous Uprising and its Legacy in Art, Ecology and Politics”, which is co-published by Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) and Valiz, Amsterdam, 2020. She is also co- editor of Duodji Reader, published by Davvi Girji together with another Sámi Scholar, Professor Harald Gaski and in cooperation with Norwegian Crafts. She is co-curator of the exhibition Arctic Highways together with Dan Jåma, Tomas Colbengtson and Britta Marakatt Labba. Arctic Highways is a touring Indigenous art exhibition with Indigenous artists from Sápmi, Canada and Alaska, where Guttorm is one of the artists. Guttorm is also one of the editors of the catalogue, named “Arctic Highways”, for the exhibition, and where she also contributes with an article. She is also project leader on the Norwegian side of an EU-financed development project Arctic Indigenous Arts and Design Archives.