– It is important that indigenous peoples remain in contact with each other across national borders. That’s why we want to continue collaborating with indigenous organizations and indigenous artists in Russia, Riddu Riđđu festival director Sandra Márjá West tells NRK.
It has an important clarification:
– We do not support Russia’s war against Ukraine. Riddu Riđđu also does not cooperate with government agencies or government organizations in Russia.
– Important meeting point
Riddu Riđđu has been held every year in Manndalen in the Kåfjord since 1991. The director of the festival says it is an important meeting point for indigenous people from all over the world.
– For the Russian indigenous peoples, it is more important than ever to feel our solidarity. The situation is now reminiscent of the “cold war”, when the Sami could not meet because of the “iron curtain”, explains West.
The word iron curtain refers to the invisible ideological carpet that divided Europe into two hostile blocs in the post-war years until 1989.
Safemuse vzw is an important player in the fight for artistic freedom. Managing Director Jan Lothe Eriksen of Safemuse is clear that this applies to all vulnerable artists.
– Russian artists in general are entitled to our help and support, Lothe Eriksen tells the website kontekst.no.
– Supervise the financing of the war
Russia has faced massive sanctions since the country went to war with Ukraine on February 24. It is a question of framing the financing of the illegal war of Russia.
– An entry ban has been introduced. Some visa facilities for Norway have been revoked. Exports, trade and transactions were halted to prevent funding and support for the war. This is how Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt explained the introduction of the sanctions.
The sanctions were introduced with the EU and other Western countries.
Also, Russia is banned from various international sports organizations and championships.
– Many obstacles
These artists are ready today:
Isák (Sápmi), Lido Pimienta (Canada), The Halluci Nation (Canada), Elin & The Woods (Sápmi), Katarina Barruck (Sápmi) and Ailu Vallu + Amoc (Sápmi).
West won’t say which other performers and performers are relevant to this year’s festival.
– We only date names when the whole deal is in place, she explains.
In any case, the sanctions make it difficult to bring someone from Russia.
– The question is how they should be able to cross borders. There are no more flights between Russia and Norway or Finland, says West.
Another challenge is paying for travel for performers and other participants on the Russian side.
– Money transfer and payment is practically impossible. It is of course right to sanction Russia. However, this has major consequences for individuals, Indigenous peoples and artists, says West.
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