News | 06/02/2018

Breakfast Well on Decolonisation, 15 February

Children's Library Project. Photo: Abdellatif Kechiche

Breakfast Wells are about people from different fields meeting to share thoughts on different themes. At this Well, we will discuss decolonisation: which seemingly invisible power structures are present in our everyday? How to deconstruct them? Opening talks by Suvi West and Christopher Wessels will spark up some conversation.

Suvi West is a documentary film director who explores the history and future of the EU’s only indigenous people, the Sámi. Her documentary asks the question how to live life as a Sámi in Finland? “Unohdettu kansa” is a political film that discusses Finnish politics and its consequences around Sámi people. The present is entwined in the past, as trauma is passed on from generation to the next, as the Sámi have not been able to collectively address the sufferings of assimilation. The stories in the film focus on the present and the future as the camera catches discussions in Sámi cabinets, private conversations and through young Sámi activists.

In this interactive and dialogical Breakfast Well, Suvi will talk about her decolonial journey of becoming again an indigenous Sámi Filmmaker instead of being a filmmaker with a Sámi background. She shares her thoughts on working with such a delicate, personal subject, trying to find a balance between responsibility, expectations and making art. At the moment she is intrigued with the question how to decolonise her own ways thinking and telling stories with traditional Sámi methods.

Christopher Wessels has an MA in Visual Culture and Contemporary Art and is currently a curator with the Children’s Library Project at Åbo Akademi University. The project combines artistic and academic research. Christopher is also a founding member of Third Space (2014-2016), a collective of artists and curators in Helsinki. In addition, he is one of the three Directors of The Museum of Impossible Forms (m{if}), another space he is a co- founder of. Christopher is an award-winning Cinematographer with seven feature films under the belt. His artistic and curatorial practices look at the un-silencing of counter hegemonic narratives and the building of counter hegemonic institutions with anti-racism, anti-sexism, and class consciousness as its foundations.

At the Well Christopher will be talking about his work in the Children’s Library Project and The Museum of Impossible Forms. The initial question he asks is,”When does Pippi Longstocking in the South Seas go to the archive?” He will be looking at how Children’s literature can be used as a proxy in committing epistemic disobedience and can act as a catalyst in re-thinking the canon.

This Breakfast Well is in English. Sign up here.