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We will update this section as the program develops.


Our goal is to offer something for everyone, and at the same time contribute to a better understanding of Sami culture. During the two days, the participants at the Telemarken saemien festival will experience film, music, exhibitions, specialist programs - and a special educational program designed for children.


We have prioritized having an interdisciplinary and educational offer for children and young people, which we have achieved through a collaboration with the manager at Tøyen Sami kindergartenMari Helander, and Anne Lise Johansen-Swart, who is currently co-author of the books Sami voices in the kindergarten and Sami voices in school (Cappelen Damm, 2023).

It has been important to include the many qualified people we have here at Notodden and in East Telemark. We also get a contribution from Signe Eira (sea-Sami and reindeer herding Sami background from Finnmark, in recent years living in Hovin in Eastern Telemark), who wants to teach most children to build mini-lavvos (approx. 20 cm in diameter). This can be seen on YouTube videos, so that we can spread information about the activity to more people.


In collaboration with researcher from the National Library, Michelle Tisdel, who highlighted Elsa Laula Renberg in the recent anti-racist exhibition "Your breath, your voice" at Oslo City Museum, we are also preparing a "Walking exhibition against sameness". We show children, young people and adults, at Notodden how they can counteract racism against the Sami in today's Norway in the 2020s, with an emphasis on how you can create change every day by contributing on Facebook and other social media.


The exhibition will also show the central Sami role through the centuries, from Byzantine writers' mention of «skridfinner» in the 5th century, to Snorre's mention of the Sami Snøfrid. According to the Norwegian royal sagas, she became Harald Hårfagre's favorite wife, and she bore him four sons, after they met in a gamme at Tofte royal farm in Gudbrandsdalen. Recent archaeological discoveries show Noaide staves from the 9th-11th centuries in Rauland in West Telemark, which is discussed in a research article from 2023.


The young researcher Solveig Marie Wang, from the University of Greifswald, Germany, will tell more about the theme at the festival. She has recently published the book Decolonizing Medieval Fennoscandia: An Interdisciplinary Study of Norse-Saami Relations in the Medieval Period (2023), where she provides updated knowledge and new perspectives on the cooperation between the Norse and the Sami in the Middle Ages.

During the festival, we will also have features from Sami Berit Rongsjord from Atrå, a descendant of Jomafjell who came to Tinn to run reindeer herding at the end of the 19th century. She will talk about the little-known Sami influence in East Telemark, while others will talk about the situation in West Telemark.


It has been important for us to ensure full equality, hence the fact that we have a preponderance of female artists and contributors. The Telemark Samieen Festivaale is then also built on the work and background of three Sami women in East Telemark, namely Berit Rognsjord, Signe Eira and Inger-Lise Kansa Olsen.


The foremost hunter of reindeer on Blefjell is Ståle Mortenson (descendant of the Sami nestor Daniel Mortenson, who led the great Sami meeting in 1917.) Mortenson has a farm in Hovin, and he will also contribute to the festival, in the form of farm products.


Not many, neither among Sami nor other Norwegians, are aware of this long-lasting Sami influence on Telemark and the rest of Norway south of Røros. Telemark is central to Norwegian nation-building. It will be a surprising and debate-provoking for many to have a Sami festival in the heart of the "county so instrumental in the building of Norway as a nation, Telemark.

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Once finalised, the complete program will be available as a downloadable pdf.

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