An artist from the indigenous Sami community in Norway’s Arctic region has protested a government reindeer-reduction policy by hanging up a “flag” made of 400 bullet-ridden reindeer skulls outside the parliament building in Oslo. The Sami, who are also known as Laplanders, have traditionally lived mostly by herding reindeer for their food and fur. But in order to prevent overgrazing of the tundra, the Norwegian government had called for a mass culling of the country’s estimated 220,000 reindeer. Speaking to Norwegian broadcaster NRK, artist Maret Anne Sara described the government policy as “totally wrong and unfair.”
Sara said that she created the beautiful yet horrifying art piece to help raise awareness and to support her brother, Jovsset Ante Sara, who has been ordered to kill 41 of his 116 reindeer — an order that he says will prevent him from being able to make a living. Jovsset has reportedly successfully challenged the order twice, but the government is appealing.
“We are here to show people the reality of our lives, rights and culture, suffering Norwegian ongoing colonialism,” the artist wrote on Instagram.
See images of the “flag” below.
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#pileosápmi, the #sámi flag made of 400 reindeer heads, in front of the Norwegian Parliament. We are here to show people the reality of our lives, rights and culture, suffering from #Norwegian ongoing #colonialsim. #mundoarjjunjovssetante #jegstøtterjovssetante #thereisnopostcolonial
Read the full story at The Associated Press.