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Litte ja Goabddá [Drones and Drums] – work in progress

Burning Machine festival, Gállak, Swedish Sápmi, 2017 © Ignacio Acosta

Litte ja Goabddá [Drones and Drums] is an investigation in the use of drone technologies as an infrastructure of protest by Sámi against the Gállok mining project in Norrbotten Country, Swedish Sápmi. The research develops at a tipping point when British-based mining exploration company Beowulf Mining seeks to gain a 25-year exploitation concession for Gállok North, one of the largest iron ore deposits in Europe.

For the Sámi, reindeer herding remains, after centuries, one of the principal components of their culture, identity, and economy. Extractive development in the area would severely affect reindeer migration paths and threaten the Laponian Area, a World Heritage Centre, situated just 30 kilometres away. If the mine goes ahead, an infrastructure of roads and railways will open “Jokkmokk mining district”, paving the way for other more toxic mines, including copper and uranium.

The project suggests a symbolic link between drones as a tool of resistance to neoliberal power, to the use of drums to resist Christianisation. The project explores the use of drones as a re-distribution of who are the ‘seen subjects’ through extensive fieldwork in collaboration with activists Mose Agestam and Henrik Blind.

The project advocates the multiple dimension of Sápmi, as a physical, cultural and ecological entity.

Commissioned by Valand Academy, Gothenburg University and Hasselblad Foundation as part of Drone Vision

Drone Vision: Surveillance, Warfare, Protest
May 19–September 16, 2018
The Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg

The exhibition is based on the two-year research project Drone Vision. Surveillance, Warfare, Protest – a collaborative initiative of Valand Academy, Gothenburg University and the Hasselblad Foundation. Led by Dr. Sarah Tuck the research project explores the affective meanings of drone technologies on photography and human rights.

As a curatorial research project Drone Vision is further developed through a partnership with NiMAC (The Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, Associated with the Pierides Foundation) Nicosia, Cyprus and Zahoor Ul Akhlaq Gallery, at the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan. Simultaneous exhibitions will open on May 18 2018 at The Hasselblad Center, NiMAC Zahoor Ul Akhlaq Gallery with three commissioned photo based art works in each gallery exploring drones as a new camera consciousness within each city and region.

Link to Drone Vision

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About the Author

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Im a Chilean born, London based visual artist and researcher. My practice explores and reflects on the geo-political power dynamics in mineral industries, geographies and historical narratives. My interconnected research projects involve extensive historical research, fieldwork, the collection of archival materials, new photographic documentation with large format cameras and diverse forms of mapping. My work develops using site-specific working methodologies.

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