Indigenous Traces

Participating artists


Artistic Director
Tomas Colbengtson (Same/SE)

Tomas is born in Tärnaby and raised in Björkvattnet, Tärna. He studied at the University of Arts, Crafts and Design and The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, and Valand Academy in Gothenburg. Over a decade, 1998 – 2008, Tomas was artist in residence at Center for Hight Performance Computing at KTH and involved in artistic project with University of Illinois, Chicago. Since 2012, Tomas has been working as lecturer in graphic art at the University of Arts, Crafts and Design. Over the years Tomas has presented his art work in Scandinavia, Russia, USA, Greenland, France, Germany and Italy. Tomas has also lead workshops in glass and graphics at the Urban Glass Studio in Brooklyn in 2016-2017.

Participating artists


Matti Aikio (Same/FI)
Matti originates from the reindeer herding village Vuotso in northern Finland and has a master in fine arts from Tromsö Akademy of Contemporary Art in Norway. Matti’s artistry draws on the history of Sami people, their way of nomadic life and their culture expressed through visual arts, foremost photo and video. Throughout the years Matti has participated in several collection exhibitions where he has created environments and installations of sound art and music.

Louise Fontain (Inuit/NO)
Louise is a photographer, storyteller and performance artist who lives in Skarmodalen in Norway, along the border to Sweden. Her artistry explores the loss of one’s own language and the search of identity and belonging, based on the struggle of indigenous people and the consequences of western colonialization. In 2018, Louise was invited to Nordic Council of Ministers 70th session in Oslo presenting her artistry and sharing her experience from the loss of her own language. Louise has participated in exhibitions and performances in Greenland, Japan, Poland and Scandinavia.

Elisabeth Heilmann Blind

Elisabeth Heilmann Blind (Inuit/SE)
Elisabeth originates from Greenland but has lived in Sweden for the past 30 years. Her artistic practice is within performing arts and the Greenlandic mask dance, a 3000 year old traditional dance form. The mask dance is performed by both women and men, where the men brings forth their femininity and women their masculinity. Elisabeth works both with solo-performance and with group of dancers and drummers. Elisabeth has worked with the Giron Sámi Teahter, Riddu Riddu Festival and studied Butoh in Japan.

Marakatta Labba

Britta Marakatt Labba (Same/SE)
Britta is born in Lainiovouma Sami village in Övre Sopporo, northern Sweden. She is an artist and a reindeer herder.
Britta studied at the academy of design and crafts at Gothenburg University 1974-1977. During the Alta conflict in the 1970s, Britta created the renown artwork “Kråkorna”. Britta started a Sami artist collective in 1978 and has since been involved in creating and building the Sami artist fund. Britta has been awarded Illis quorum medallion of the 8th grade, the Grannvik grant and was awarded the Stig Dagerman award in 2018. Since 2014, Britta is honorary doctor at the faculty of Arts and Humanities at Umeå University.


Lena Stenberg (Same/SE)
Lena is born in Laevas Sami village in Kiruna, Northern Sweden. She is an artist and reindeer herder. Lena studied at the Arts, Crafts and Design University in Stockholm between 1986- 1990. Nature, culture, identity and belonging are central themes in her art work. Over the years, environmental degradation and exploitation of the land has been increasingly brought into her art. Lena’s artwork reflects also time and space in different settings, often in the house or home. Lena has published the photobook Sápmi 2000.

Kouji Yuki

Koji Yuki  (Ainu/JP)
Koji is an artist, musician, Filmanimatör, narrator and activist. He lives on Hokkaido, the northern Japanese island, and is one of the Förgrundsgestalterna in the process of reawakening Ainufolkens culture and art. In his art, Koji is based on the Ainu mythology and its traditions. He is the leader and singer of Ainu Art Project. A project started in 2000 by a group of young Ainu descendants with the aim of not only preserving the traditions but also exploring the contemporary expression of the Ainu culture.

Ainu Art Project is working To recreate the ship Itaomacip by making use of the traditional craftsmanship. Koji appeared 2011 in Ainu mythology Dramatic Reading With the traditional Solitaire Tonkori At the Louvre in Paris.

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