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Muohtadivggažat / The Sound of Snow

Multilingual performance based on incredible but true stories from the borderland between Norway, Finland and Russia.

The space of the performance is inspired by a legendary bar in Boris Gleb the summer of 1965. For a few months the borders were opened. People from the north of Norway and Finland flocked to the small Russian village to meet old and new acquaintances – and to party.

The script is written by poet and playwright Rawdna Carita Eira. It’s about the homeland of the Skolt Sami people, escape and survival – and about the world’s deepest man-made hole. Underneath lies the fact that human presence on this planet is not eternal.

The Story

The year is 2015. The young woman Anna finds herself not far from Zapoljarnyj near the Norwegian border with a well-worn men’s bike from 1939. In this homeland borders have changed, and people have always been on the move. Anna seizes the opportunities that come her way. Simultaneoulsy we get to hear the story of her family from the end of the 1800’s. One part of her family comes from Nuottjávr (Notozero) on the Russian side and Suennjel on the Finnish side, another one from Varanger on the Norwegian side. Anna is of Skolt Sami descent, but that is not more important to her than other experiences and backgrounds that she has. More than anything she is a survivor, one that sees opportunities. She is not a “good” person. She is a person.

Anna’s bike and her grandfather, the raconteur and survivor Sasha, takes the audience in and out of events like the expulsion of the Skolt Samis, crown princess Märtha’s escape to the USA in 1940, Alexander Rybak’s victory in Melody Grand Prix 2009 – and the meeting with the wave of refugees coming to Storskog in 2015, represented by the Syrian refugee girl Haya and her dad.

 

About the author

Rawdna Carita Eira (b. 1970) is a poet and playwright, nominated to Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2012. Her background is a mix of Sami, Norwegian and Finnish with a father from Finnskogen (Solør) and a mother from a family of reindeer herders in Guovdageaidnu. Eira has lived all her life in the intermixture between Sami and Norwegian culture. She was born in Elverum in Norway and spent her first 8 years at Finnskogen. In 1978 her family moved to Sør-Helgeland and started reindeer herding there. Rawdna attended the Southern Sami boarding school in Snåsa most of primary and secondary school and was there taught Southern Sami. The family went from being a monolingual Norwegian family to become a duolingual Norwegian / Northern Sami family during the next decades. In 2002 Eira quit reindeer herding and moved to Guovdageaidnu. Today she is working as a playwright, translator and stage manager at the Sami National Theathre Beaivváš. She is fluent in Northern Sami and can also understand Southern Sami and Lule Sami to a great extent. Through her work she is probably the one person in Norway who has the greatest experience when it comes to texting and translating performances and plays between Sami and Norwegian.