Weaving Identity

During this project we tried to understand and communicate the connection of diverse communities through stories of experiences from and with Sami communities, an indigenous people of Sweden.The goal was to learn and exchange experiences in co-creation.
This resulted in an interactive exhibition that is based on our experiences and learnings from the meeting between the different communities. The final exhibition “hi/stories of change” was exhibit as part of Priority:Minority exhibition at Västerbottens Museum in Umeå.

 

What is most important to you?
The visitors got to order the pieces of fabric in what is most important for them.

Tie the cloths to each other.
Then tie them together into a long string. The best part was to see how the visitors hacked the way of sorting and chose to tie only one colour or several colours at the same place.

Weave your knitted clothes on the ropes.
After sorting the visitors were to weave the cloths into the ropes to make a carpet of identity. The more the carpet was growing the more diversity it started to show.

Learnings

This project has given me insights into how it is to live as an indigenous people and how important it is to have an open mind and see things from different perspectives. And to always try and prove your pre-assumptions wrong. To be able to do this it is important to listen and be humble and never think that there are we and them but rather have a “weness” mindset as designers.


What happens when two communities look into each others curious eyes?

Yarning
Reflexive, responsible, respectful research

By going to Jokkmokk, (and the two other villages my colleagues visited) with a humble mind and to listen we were part of a meeting and a participatory design process consisting of mutual learning and sharing in a diverse context. In this case a meeting between the Sami community and us. This was to develop an ethical perspective on how to design for, with, across communities and stakeholders and how to facilitate a more democratic way of designing and thinking.

Digest insights through storytelling

After the trips, we started to digest all of our experiences and new learnings through storytelling. This phase included writing and telling our stories in different ways, a workshop together with other students at the school and the collaborating Sami organisations and clustering our insights and stories into topics. we worked with nature and interconnections in nature and culture as a starting point. We wanted to show the different perspectives that are created depending on who and from where you are looking. So we decided to make a tool for the visitors to create their own story and self-reflection.


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