Marja Helander (b. 1965) is a Sami photographic and video artist who has, in her works, discussed her identity between the Sami and the Finnish cultures. There is also humour in her works, as she examines the conflict between the traditional Sami way of life and modern society. In her recent work, Helander has focused on photographing the bleak post-colonial landscapes in the Sápmi region. It is important for the artist to strike a balance between being political and leaving room for interpretation. Helander’s recent short film Eatnanvuloš lottit (Birds in the Earth) won a major Finnish film award, the Risto Jarva Prize, in 2018. Helander graduated as a painter from the Lahti Institute of Fine Arts, and later, in 1999, she received a Master’s degree from the University of Art and Design Helsinki.
Kuva: Riikka Vaahtera