Ask the Foremothers

Viitahuhta Marja

The music video for Ánnámáret's song “Jearrat máttaráhkus - Ask the foremothers” juxtaposes images of the Sámi past with the landscape of today. Overlaid images allow temporal layers to overlap. The pictures also show similarities between the northern landscape and the details of the Sámi costume: the nocturnal light shimmers on the frosty snow like glimmer on risku jewelry, the coat's crimson folds and the shawl's colors glitter like northern lights or autumn colors. The video captures ice, snow and flowing water, calling out for the memory of the landscape.

Archive image (still pic): Axel Lindahl, Nasjonalbiblioteket / Flickr, A/V Geeks, Internet archive, Paavo Ravila,, Suomalais-ugrilainen kuvakokoelma, Museovirasto.

The archive material used in the video is listed in the end credits

Production Year
Original Title
Jearrat máttaráhkus
Finnish Title

Kysy esiäideiltä

English Title

Ask the Foremothers

Production Countries
Marja Viitahuhta (Author), Marja Viitahuhta (Cinematographer), Anna Näkkäläjärvi-Länsman (Composer), Turkka Inkilä (Composer), Ilkka Heinonen (Composer), Marja Viitahuhta (Director), Marja Viitahuhta (Editor), Anna Näkkäläjärvi-Länsman (Producer), Marja Viitahuhta (Script), Anna Näkkäläjärvi-Länsman (Sound Design), Anna Näkkäläjärvi-Länsman (Actor), Taiteen edistämiskeskus (Funder), Suomen Kulttuurirahasto (Funder)
Press Photos
Marja Viitahuhta (formerly Mikkonen) is a Helsinki-based media artist and filmmaker. Her works range from films, performances and installations to photography and collage. She holds a BA degree in performance art from the Turku Polytechnic Arts Academy and an MFA degree from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. She has been awarded internationally at Cannes (Cinéfondation), Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Mediawave and L’Alternativa film festivals. Viitahuhta's recurring themes focus on perception and experience of female protagonists. Her works deconstruct individual identities, memories, or the idealised imagery of nations and landscapes. Her work often speaks in an intimate and personal tone and deals with existence and mortality. The text and image are set in a dialogue in Viitahuhta’s experimental language. Viitahuhta often bases her work on documentary filmmaking, archive material and found images as well as interviews.