Music, mining and colonisation: Sámi contestations of Sweden’s self-narrative

  • Annika Bergman Rosamond
Nøgleord: Self-narratives, Colonisation, Sápmi, Sweden, Self-identity, Sofia Jannok, Decolonisation, Politics


Sweden’s dominant self-narrative has tended to marginalise its historical colonisation of Sápmi. This aspect of Swedish history sits uncomfortably with prevalent understandings of that self-identity. Indeed, there has been little emphasis on the historical subordination of Sámi people in political science scholarship on Swedish exceptionalism and internationalism. This article problematises this absence by centring the analysis on Sámi musician Sofia Jannok’s efforts to decolonise Sápmi through her music. The first part examines Sweden’s colonisation of Sápmi and the tensions between Sámi reindeer herding communities, mining interests and the Swedish state. This is followed by an exploration of the constitutive relationship between music, politics and celebrity, as sites of political communication.  A two-step analysis follows, investigating the broad themes in Sofia Jannok’s personal narrative and the discursive markers defining her music and politics. The analysis shows how her narrative intersects with the discursive themes of her musical expression and other engagements.


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