Indigenous Art Forms & The Law


November 23, 2021

Event Details

We are delighted to announce our upcoming virtual event, Indigenous Art Forms & The Law, in collaboration with the nonprofit organization Safe Havens | Freedom Talks (SH|FT). The event will be streamed on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at 9:00 am EST on the SH|FT Facebook page, as well as the platform HowlRound. After the initial streaming, the event will be available on demand on HowlRound.

Featuring professors Ánde Somby (traditional Saami joik artist and professor of the Faculty of Law at the University of Tromsø) and Kristen Carpenter (Council Tree Professor of Law and Director of the American Indian Law Program at the University of Colorado Law School), and facilitated by Sofía Monterroso (Senior Officer, Programs and Operations, AFI), this virtual event explores the how intellectual property and copyright law frameworks can protect Indigenous artists and Indigenous art forms.

This event is the first in a series that explores case studies wherein Indigenous groups and individuals seek legal protections for their art forms.


About SH|FT

SH|FT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of artists at risk and artistic freedom. SH|FT provides an open platform for human rights defenders in the arts globally. By stimulating collective partnership and encouraging international collaboration, SH|FT aims to promote a clearer perspective on the field and share knowledge on matters such as shelter city initiatives, international campaigns, funding opportunities, and access to legal advice. SH|FT organizes live and virtual conferences and initiates thematic discussions while identifying and promoting key artists and activists to engage with wider communities.


About Freedom Talks

The Freedom Talks series focuses on issues related to threats to artistic freedom, free press and intangible heritage. Guests in the Freedom Talks series are highly knowledgeable and prolific actors in the global Arts Rights Justice sector. The Freedom Talks aim to share space and broaden the narrative of who can take center stage, by lending the brand to different organizations within the sector. The talks are sponsored by the Swedish Institute and can be viewed on the SH|FT Facebook page, as well as the platform HowlRound.


About Our Panelists

Kristen Carpenter is Council Tree Professor of Law and Director of the American Indian Law Program at the University of Colorado Law School. Professor Carpenter served as a member of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) from 2017-2021 and as its chair from 2019-2020.

While serving at the United Nations, Professor Carpenter worked on human rights issues regarding Indigenous Peoples in Brazil, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Finland, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, and other locales. With colleagues at the Native American Rights Fund, Carpenter is now co-lead on “The Implementation Project,” an effort to realize the aims of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United States.

Professor Carpenter teaches and writes in the fields of human rights and Indigenous Peoples law, with emphasis on rights to land, culture, and religion. She is the author of dozens of academic articles and several books on these topics. Professor Carpenter works frequently with Indigenous Peoples, as well as museums and universities, cultural and religious organizations, national and local governments, and other institutions to help to advance understanding of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.

Ánde Somby, born in Buolbmat, Norway, is a traditional Sámi joik artist and an associate professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Tromsø, specializing in Indigenous Rights Law. Somby has been an active yoiker since 1974. He has also produced records with other yoikers. In 1985 he produced the LP record and MC cassette “Ean Máššan”.

This record featured his father Aslak Somby and mother Karen Kristine Porsanger Somby. In 1991 he produced the record “Ravddas Ravdii” with Inga Juuso. In 2000 he produced the record “Deh” and in 2003 “Deh2” with his uncle Ivvár Niillas. Somby is also one of the cofounders of the Sámi publishing house and record label Dat. Together with the band Boknakaran from Tromsø and the acapella group Rosynka from Petrozavodsk, Russia, Somby participated in the project “moya på Tvoja” from 1998 to 2002. From 2003 to 2007 Somby was a member of the group Vajas, meaning echo in English, and was the vocals and yoiker for the band.

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