Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrated in Berne and Zurich | Polarjournal
Save the date! On Sunday June 18, NONAM is organizing an event to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day. It’s an opportunity to attend workshops, guided tours and native dances, and to meet artists from the High North. (Illustration: NONAM)

NONAM and the Cerny Museum of Contemporary Circumpolar Art in Switzerland invite everyone to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day on June 18 with round tables, workshops and guided tours. Inuit and Sami artists and their works will be on the program as well.

To mark Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the North American Native Museum in Zurich (NONAM) is organizing an exceptional event on June 18. Sculpture workshops, guided tours, storytelling, Greenland parka photo shoots and a round table discussion are on the program, giving visitors a chance to discover indigenous cultures, particularly those of the Arctic with the aim of raising visitors’ awareness.

“We are referring to June 21, which in Canada is National Aboriginal Peoples’ Day, with the intention of using this Canadian day to raise public awareness in Zurich, Berne, Switzerland and Europe of various indigenous issues,” says Heidrun Löb, Director and Chief Curator at NONAM. “Indigenous peoples exist all over the world, including in Europe, but few people are aware of them.”

Hence the importance for the museum to include Sami artists in this event, including Inga-Wiktoria Påve, who along with Kablunangajuit artist Billy Gauthier will lead guided tours of the current exhibition “Sedna. Myth and Change in the Arctic”.

Guided tours of the exhibition “Sedna. Myth and Change in the Arctic” will be available at NONAM on June 18. Image: Jonathan Labusch / NONAM.

“Billy Gauthier and Inga-Wiktoria Påve are both represented in our special exhibition. It was one of our goals to bring artists to do guided tours with them and to talk about northern art and the development of art. This exhibition also refers to the issues of climate change, and the artists talk about this,” points out Ms. Löb.

Born in Labrador in 1978, Billy Gauthier was introduced to sculpture by his cousin John Terriak. His highly detailed works combine different materials such as wood, ivory and bone, and draw their inspiration as much from Inuit traditions as from contemporary issues. Today, he is one of the most sought-after Inuit artists. Image: The Senses of the Shaman, B. Gauthier, 2015 / NONAM.

The Arctic is warming up four times faster than the rest of the world, with consequences that indigenous populations have to face. That’s why it’s so important to showcase the work of indigenous artists, and to encourage encounters and an open dialogue with visitors.

Fredrik Prost is another Saami artist worth discovering. Originally from Viikusjärvi, in the far north of Sweden, he comes from a family of Sami craftsmen, from whom he learned to create intricate, detailed handicrafts from leather, wood and reindeer skin. His work is exhibited in major galleries and institutions worldwide. He will be hosting a sculpture workshop on Sunday.

And on June 16, the Cerny Museum of Contemporary Circumpolar Art is hosting a round-table discussion with the three artists at its own museum in Berne. “Artists from the circumpolar regions have been communicating and collaborating with each other for many years. The members of our panel discuss their perspectives and vision of their art, its context and correlations,” explains the museum. The discussion will be open to the public and aims to raise awareness of the issues currently facing indigenous peoples in the Arctic and other parts of the world, which go beyond the effects of climate change.

Mirjana Binggeli, PolarJournal

Visit the Cerny Museum website

Visit the NONAM website

More about this topic

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
error: Content is protected !!
Share This