Sami herders photographs by Erika Larsen.
“I see Sámi People living in two worlds.
They are of the now. They are of the past.
When I am here a week seems like eternity.
This place will change me forever.
I am a storyteller and this becomes clearer now.
The days are nights and the nights are days.
The reindeer move at night because the snow is harder and easier
to move. Therefore so do we.
This place is Coalmmejavri.
It means shallow water between two lakes.
Time does not exist here, not really anyway.
Yesterday I stood in a vacuum of fog, Murku, winter fog.
It was a place where everything could exist but nothing does.
We stay in a lavvo and I what I think most queer
is that even though the tundra seems absent of all life we get visitors everyday.
I can’t say for sure where they materialize from since I have yet to see another lavvo
but I suppose in the vastness of the tundra it would be foolish of me to think we are alone.
This life is hard, the work with the reindeer.
The weather is ever changing and uninterested in the comfort of those who inhabit the landscape.
The weather takes all the energy out a man.
He wears it on his face.
But the people are proud of their work.
They are proud to be Sámi.
Every ounce of their being is Sámi.”