Grammy-nominated Sámi Musician and Activist Sofia Jannok to Visit and Perform at Gustavus Posted on May 2nd, 2016 by


Sofia Jannok

The Gustavus Adolphus College Department of Scandinavian Studies will host Sofia Jannok as the 2016 Out of Scandinavia Artist-in-Residence. Jannok will be on campus for a series of events taking place May 2-5.

A two-time Grammy-nominated musician, Jannok is a Sámi artist, singer, songwriter, and agitator for indigenous rights and environmental justice from Arctic Sweden. She has taken a strong stance in social and news media against the mining of Sámi lands and protested along with other indigenous activists at the recent COP21 climate conference in Paris. Her recent single “We Are Still Here” adopts a mantra common to indigenous peoples around the world. Jannok’s music is inspired by diverse musical influences, mainly pop and Sámi yoik. She sings and writes songs in Sámi, Swedish and English. Her latest album, ORDA-THIS IS MY LAND, was released on April 8.

“Sofia Jannok is a dream choice for the Out of Scandinavia program,” Gustavus Scandinavian studies professor Ursula Lindqvist said. “She is astonishingly multi-faceted. She has been at the forefront of indigenous activists worldwide who are pushing for policies to address climate change, calling attention to how the denigration of the environment is affecting the livelihoods and distinctive cultures of indigenous people.”

During her time at Gustavus, Jannok will give a public music colloquium lecture on Monday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Björling Recital Hall, will participate in a teach-in panel along with 11 other regional scholars and indigenous speakers on Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall, and will conclude her visit with an open-air concert in on Thursday, May 5 at 7 p.m. in Linnaeus Arboretum. All of the events are free and open to the public.

In addition to the public events that will take place during Jannok’s visit, she will also attend Scandinavian studies, theatre and dance, geography, chemistry, environmental studies, and religion classes to share her story and work with Gustavus students.

“We always make a point of inviting someone who really wants to engage with our community—the students, the faculty and staff, and people from the area—and she absolutely does,” Lindqvist said. “While the program’s main events always are open to the entire College community and the general public, the Out of Scandinavia program is first and foremost for our students, to connect what they are learning in their courses with the world around them.”

Jannok’s visit is co-sponsored by the Gustavus Department of Music, and the College’s annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference, and the American Swedish Institute. She will be accompanied by a Swedish film team that is following her throughout the year to produce a documentary on her music and advocacy.

Since its inception in 1989, the Gustavus Department of Scandinavian Studies’ Out of Scandinavia program has hosted notable artists-in-residence including actor Max von Sydow, playwright Lars Löfgren, and crime author Arne Dahl. Jannok brings Out of Scandinavia back to its roots, as the inaugural artist-in-residence was Sámi writer, musician, and social critic Nils-Aslak Valkeapää.

To learn more about Jannok’s music, visit her website. For more information about Gustavus Adolphus College’s Out of Scandinavia program, visit the program website.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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