“…you’re afraid you don’t fit in, you’re afraid you’ll be alone. Great news! You share that with all of us, so you’ll never be alone and you’ll always fit in.”

“You’re stronger. You’re better. You have friends. No, screw that. You have a family.”



Britta Marakatt-Labba (b. 1951, Idivuoma, Sweden)

- Historja


Embroidery, print, appliqué, and wool on linen

Britta Marakatt-Labba was born in Idivuoma, outside of Kiruna in northern Sweden, Growing up with a deep knowledge of the collective practice of reindeer husbandry (her parents and her husband are rein-deer herders), this sense of movement and migration permeates her textile works. A defining feature of Historja is its undulating horizon line. A procession of animals emerges from the woods in a procession; first foxes, then bears, then ungulates (all holy for Sámi), then the first people emerge following the reindeer, first on foot and then on sleds. An entire history is on view, one that begins and ends with Sámi cosmology, in between are different formations of people, who are herding animals, tending to crops and cattle, drying fish. Yet they are also engaged in other Important activities as well: revolting against oppressive authorities (the 1851 Kautokeino uprising) as well as gathering together for political self-determination (marked by the first assembly in Sámi Parliament). This is not a linear history, there are deliberate breaks, shifts in style and content It can be read from right to left or left to right, the storyline generatively shifting with each subsequent view.