Nothing hurts like the truth, they say and therefore it is often neglected. With a title such as this, any kind of material is bound to contain interesting hints to its environment – and perhaps thought-provoking omitted bits.
Through this 50-minute cabaret, Tana-based Siri Broch Johansen offers her version of the truth. Without Sami language skills, I was wizened with just the half of it which was offered in Norwegian on this official Sami Week event.
Accompanied by pianist Stamen Stantchev, Siri begins unfolding ‘the truth’ with songs drawing on easy recognisable stereotypes such as the salmon-king crab-reindeer diet. Soon, however, she moves onto the task of defining who Sami people are today: reindeer herders and academics.
– UiT is a Norwegianisation temple with a kofta on, she claims.
The town, which does not even acknowledge its Sami name, can only teach Sami people to drink beers downtown and to turn their koftas inside out, Siri states.
This one-woman cabaret deals with various issues relating to modern Sami identities as well as questions relating to Sami people’s possibilities for education, and not least its subsequent causes. She emphasises difficulties and paradoxes relating to on one hand being Sami and on the other explaining Saminess.
Furthermore, Siri sings a cabaret version of the Proclaimer’s ‘I would walk 500 miles’ about a Sami President who dislikes loud-mouthed people:
– They elected me cos I’m the kindest boy they found…
The end turns into a catchy proclamation with a quiet but confident mostly Norwegian cover of Shakira’s ‘Waka Waka’, where Siri manages to get most of the audience to sing along to the chorus:
– ‘Det her er Sápmi!’