I love being a filmmaker, an artist, a Sami and a woman, but I don’t want to be pigeonholed. Many people want to call me ”the female Sami artist.” I don’t mind being a Sami nor a woman, but I don’t want to be defined in terms that no other artist would be defined. No one says, for example, a ”male artist.” Furthermore, being called a female artist is a form of positive discrimination.
My works are often termed ”Sami works.” That is not a fair term. My work is about life, death and quite ordinary feelings every human being is confronted with. In short, my work is universal. But as soon as it is about a minority, it is the ”minority” that comes into focus, instead of the works themselves.
I don’t believe people think about things like this. I am often told that I should be proud of my Sami background… Why should I walk around being proud all the time? We too, the Samis, are ordinary people with ordinary issues. Stories from Sápmi are often treated in a romanticized manner, instead of being seen for what they really are. Another example is that if I am wearing the traditional kolt at an event where wearing a kolt is unusual, it is a kolt that enters the room, not me.
I am the filmmaker and artist Liselotte Wajstedt.