The first course started in Norway for non-binary sweaters

The first course started in Norway for non-binary sweaters


– It was nice to create a room where you can just be yourself, says Garmeres Vice President Helmine Bruun Arnesen of JWF.

This past weekend served as the starting point for my first ever training session in Norway for a non-binary cardigan. During the year, each of the ten course participants will create their own jacket (cardigan Sami) that respects and supports the traditions of the cardigan, at the same time cutting out a bisexual model.

—For some of us, this is the first pullover we’ve made, while others have worn two-tone pullovers before, JUFNA’s Helmen Bron Arnesen, Vice President of Garmeris Sami Queer Organization, tells Blake.

Hin is himself a participant in the course started by Garmeres and the Ergi art group. The ten participants met at Skien Kunstforening, where they are set to return in December to continue working with Buttons.

Genealogy and Bias

«Despite the continuous development of Sami culture, the kofta remains gendered; There are two versions of male and female – though there are Sami who identify themselves as no one or,” Jarmires wrote in the invitation to the session.

“All Sami should be able to wear a cardigan that does not come at the expense of their gender identity.”

After the end of the first week of the course, participants are now on their way to creating their own non-binary jackets. It is held under the direction of duojár (Semitic craftsman) Anna-Stina Svakko.

Duggar Anna-Stena Sfako (right) leads the course consistently. Here with Ricky Sani Nikolaisen from Skien Kunstforening.

Before the session, participants had video chats with Svakko, says Arnesen.

We talked about everything from sex to gender, gender expression, and bias. Anna Stena has drawn a pattern for us, but with room to adapt. We also talked about the expectations of cardigans, and the binary or gender elements we wanted to include. It was a very consistent setup, says Arnesen.

takes place

Arnesen himself began to wear a cardigan with feminine features. Within the group of participants, there is a wide range of concepts they use about themselves, both when it comes to Sami and queer, says Henn.

– During the course we mostly talked about artistic tailoring, but apart from that we also talked a lot about what the Rainbow Sami Room really is. Duodje is more than just things, traditional knowledge is social and cultural. I think a lot of us missed Sami’s safe and weird room. As Vice President of Garmeres, I also believe that creating such a space is the primary goal of the organization. Especially after a time when we’ve become more distracted than usual.

Anna-Stina Svakko instructs course participants in building cardigans.

Anna-Stina Svakko instructs course participants in building cardigans.

The buttons will be different depending on the geographical affiliations they represent.

Are the new designs close to traditional jackets or did you think of something completely new?

– If it is a new design, it is not a cardigan. The look and décor depends on the family you have, so we really only create gender expressions that will accommodate us too. In cardigan cycles, everyone usually sews cardigans from the same region. When the subject is gender creative, there will of course be many different themes, but Anna-Stina is all-encompassing. Some may end up with something quite similar to binary buttons.

important confession

In May, Garmeres received 82,000 NOK from the Sami Parliament and 100,000 NOK from the Cultural Council for the session.

– What does it mean to obtain support from both the Ministry of Culture and the Sami Parliament for the project?

– It’s an important confession. It is seen and taken seriously by a Sami community, but is taken seriously at many intersections. During the first course there were several at Skien Kunstforening who arranged things for us, but let us manage everything ourselves and they felt good. We got to craft the project on our own terms.

Upon completion of the course, the work and buttons will be part of the Skien Art Association’s Skeive Resistance Movements exhibition, a collaboration between artist Heiki Riipinen, Skiens Kunstforening and Ergi and the dragon group Gutta.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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