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Practising Indigenous Identity: Ett samtal mellan Ilmira Bolotyan och Åsa Simma

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Välkommen till ett samtal om hur ursprung och identitet påverkar konstnärligt utövande. Konstnären och curatorn Ilmira Bolotyan träffar teaterregissören och skådespelaren Åsa Simma för att diskutera deras olika erfarenheter relaterade till deras bakgrund och identitet. Inledning och moderering av Magnus Ericson och Sona Stepanyan.

I detta samtal, som syftar till att diskutera relationen mellan identitet och föreställningar om kulturarv, presenteras och diskuteras två mycket olika erfarenheter och sammanhang. Ilmira Bolotyan reflekterar över sin identitet som sovjetisk medborgare med en typisk familjehistoria och hur detta har lett till ett medvetet reflekterande kring hennes etniska bakgrund, som kommande från en tjuvasjisk familj från Volga-Vyatka-regionen i Ryssland. Åsa Simma utgår från sin bakgrund och ett samiskt traditionellt förhållningssätt till lärande, från mästare och hur man genom generationer traderar kunskap och hur detta har påverkat hennes arbete på Giron Sámi Teáhter.

Två samiska barn leker med renar i bakgrunden

Foto: Per B Simma

Åsa Simma och hennes bror som barn.

Läs mera om de medverkande nedan (på engelska).

Practising Indigenous Identity är ett evenemang inom projektet The Prism of the Past: An exchange on critical cultural heritage.


Practising Indigenous Identity: A conversation between Ilmira Bolotyan and Åsa Simma

Date: Tuesday May 23, 2023
5:30 – 7:00 pm
Place: IASPIS/Konstnärsnämnden
Maria skolgata 83, Stockholm, Sweden
Free admission, no reservation needed

Welcome to a conversation about how indigenous identity influence artistic practise. Artist and curator Ilmira Bolotyan meets theatre director and actor Åsa Simma to discuss their different experiences related to their background and identities. Introduction and moderation by Magnus Ericson and Sona Stepanyan.

In this conversation, which aims to discuss the relation between identity and notions of cultural heritage, two very different experiences and contexts are presented and discussed. Ilmira Bolotyan reflects on her identity as a Soviet citizen with a typical family trajectory and how this has lead to a conscious consideration and reflection upon her ethnical background, coming from a Chuvash family from the Volga-Vyatka region of Russia. Åsa Simma draws from her background and Sami traditional approaches to learning from masters and though practicing and handing down though generations and how this has influenced her work at Giron Sámi Teáhter.

Practising Indigenous Identity is an event within the project The Prism of the Past: An exchange on critical cultural heritage.Ilmira

Bolotyan is a Moscow-based artist, renowned as a practitioner and researcher in the field of socially engaged and participatory art. Her paintings, graphics, installations, videos, curatorial projects, texts, and performances have dealt with issues of broad inclusion of different communities in art processes, institutional critique, sexuality and heteronormativity, violence and feminism, urban poverty, social nets’ media in art sphere, gender, women’s and artistic identity, immaterial and material labor, attractiveness across culture, and aging. In her participatory projects, Bolotyan creates different social situations: from inviting the audience to determine the nationality of an unknown woman to asking men out on a date in the museum.

Åsa Simma is a theatre director actor and director of the Giron Sámi Teáhter. She was born into a nomadic reindeer herding family, migrating between north Sweden and Norway depending on the season. She was taught the traditional Sami singing called ”yoik”, during the time when it was forbidden. She was part of the movement to diminish the yoiking ban. She left for Denmark where she took an actors education. Åsa Simma has been very active in the global indigenous peoples movements. She has toured among Australian Aboriginals, lived with Inuit from Greenland, and Native American Indians. Worked as a film dramaturgist and script developer at the International Sami Film Institute.

Sona Stepanyan is a curator based in Stockholm and currently collaborating with Mint Konsthall and The Swedish Curators’ Association. From 2016–2018 Stepanyan held a position of curator at Armenia Art Foundation and previously worked at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. She is among the 2017 finalists of the 9th edition of Premio di Lorenzo Bonaldi per L’Arte, organized by GAMeC Museum. Her latest exhibitions include Continuous Line that Binds us to each other (Firetti Contemporary, Verona 2022); The First Festival of Manuports (Kunsthalle Kohta, Helsinki, 2021); The Restless Echo of Tomorrow (Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, 2020).

The Prism of the Past: An exchange on critical cultural heritage is a project and platform for exchange between artistic practitioners, researchers, historians and curators within the fields of craft, architecture, design, art and cultural production at large. The purpose is to establish connections and to develop exchange of competence, experience and knowledge around “critical cultural heritage”. The project develops through a series of online and physical meetings that started in 2022, aiming at in various ways highlight and discuss examples of practice and theory. The Prism of the Past: An Exchange on Critical Cultural Heritage is initiated as a collaboration between Maria Lind, Cultural Counsellor at the Embassy of Sweden in Moscow and Magnus Ericson, Head of Applied Art at IASPIS.