Call for papers – Special Issue of Dutkansearvi Dieđalaš Áigečála – Searvedoibma: Art and Social Communities in Sápmi (15.01.2022)

In recent years Sámi art and aesthetics have been invited into majority contexts in hitherto unprecedented ways – from international exhibitions such as documenta 14 in Kassel in 2017 to the Sámi Pavilion at the forthcoming Venice Biennial in 2022. While Sámi art has gained new visibility internationally, this has not necessarily meant that the conditions for making, producing and exhibiting Sámi art and aesthetics in Sápmi on Sámi premises have been strengthened. There are still few Sami-oriented art institutions, and there is still no Sámi art museum. Yet, while formal art institutions are scarce, cultural festivals in Sápmi have long functioned as an important artistic, social and economic infrastructure for the development of the transnational field of Sámi art.

This special issue of Dutkansearvi invites contributions that examine and engage with the conditions for artistic practice and aesthetic engagement in Sápmi, with a special focus on how Sámi art and making practices take part in the creation and production of new communities and publics. The title of the special issue takes its starting point in the Northern Sámi term searvedoaibma as an analytical framework. This North Sami term has no direct Norwegian or Nordic equivalent. In Northern Sami, searvi refers to something one participates in (such as an association or community), while doaibma describe practices of doing or enacting something. Searvedoaibma is in short, an active concept that shifts the focus from understanding community as a noun (as something that already exists), to examine the creation, enactment, and negotiation of communities. By using searvedoaibma as a starting point for this special issue, we seek to emphasize our interest in understanding how art and social communities are made and enacted in dynamic and relational ways, and how art and aesthetic performances might contribute to and challenge these processes (Danbolt, Kramvig, Guttorm & Hætta 2022). Inviting approaches to art and social communities in Sápmi through the concept of searvedoibma is also a way to highlight the importance of working with and developing new Indigenous concepts and tools.

We invite contributions that engage with art and social communities in Sápmi in a variety of forms and formats – from peer-reviewed academic articles (5000-6000 words), shorter essays, commentaries, interviews, dialogues, and reviews – in Sámi languages, English, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, or Danish. (For general guidelines for submissions to Dutkansearvi, see

Please send abstracts (ca. 100 words) before January 15 2022 to the special issue editors Britt Kramvig (, Hanna E. Guttorm (, and Mathias Danbolt ( The deadline for submission for full articles will be April 1 2022.

The special issue is part of the research project “Okta: Kunst og friksjonsfylte felleskap i Sápmi” (2019-2022) [Okta: Art and Communities in Friction], supported by Arts Council Norway and Danish Arts Council. We plan to organize a writing and feedback seminar with the accepted contributors in late February in Romsa/Tromsø on the Norwegian side of Sápmi.