Marja Helander’s Birds in the Earth is included in the Native Cinema Showcase at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian, New York. The Showcase takes place from March 29–31.
Helander’s short film is included in the screening “The Land Speaks“, Saturday, March 30, 2019, 11 AM – 12:15 PM.
Birds in the Earth is a short film based on dance. The main characters are two young Sámi ballet students; Birit and Katja Haarla. The movie tells a bit melancholic story through their dance performances. At the same time it examines the deeper questions of the ownership of Sámi land.
Marja Helander (b.1965) is a Finnish photographic and video artist. She graduated from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki in 1999. Her earlier work explored her own identity between the Finnish and the Sámi culture. Helander’s recent photographic work has focused on Northern landscape. The accent of the work is on the postcolonial topics in the Sámi area, focusing particularly on the global mining industry. The encounter between nature and mankind is not harmonious, but destructive. On the other hand, her video works are playful, exploring the contradiction between the traditional Sámi way of life and the modern society. Her recent short film Birds in the Earth won the Risto Jarva Prize in Tampere Film Festival 2018. Marja Helander has participated in solo and group exhibitions and her works have been acquired for various public collections in Finland and abroad.
Native Cinema Showcase, March 29–31 2019, Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian, New York
More information: Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian, New York