Artist Protests Against Norway’s Reindeer Reduction Policy

Sami artist

Artist Marat Anne Sara has caught the world’s attention with her beautiful, yet horrifying art piece that she has created to protest against Norway’s reindeer reduction policy.

She has made a flag of 400 bullet-ridden reindeer skulls which she has hung outside the parliament building in Oslo. Sara says she made the art piece to raise awareness and also to help her brother who has been ordered to kill 41 of his 116 reindeer. If he does this, then he will not be able to make a living, she says

The artist hails from the indigenous Sami community in Norway’s Arctic region. The community survives by herding reindeer for food and fur. That is why when the Norwegian government called for reducing the reindeer population by at least 220,000 in order to prevent overgrazing of the tundra, Sara wanted to step up and do something.

She said that the government policy is totally wrong and unfair. 

“We are here to show people the reality of our lives, rights and culture, suffering Norwegian ongoing colonialism,” the artist wrote on Instagram.

It’s a shame and a pity that you have to drag along 400 heads around the world to get the word out there about our reality, to find a voice,” Marat Anne Sara, told The New York Times. “My hope in the legal system is fading. We have a saying in the Sami language, ‘you can’t beat the troll with its own tricks’.”

The Sami people live in northern Norway, and parts of Russia, Finland and Sweden. Estimates say that there are around 50,000 to 100,000 members of this community. They have their own Parliament and president, which are symbolic in nature.

The artist’s brother says that all he knows is reindeer herding and it is his life.

Also Read: Visual Artist Megha Madan On How Cities Inspire Her Work