Sami girl, 1938, Suenjel (Suonikylä), Petsamo

Sami girl, 1938, Suenjel (Suonikylä), Petsamo

“Her name was Sinaida. This picture was taken on her front yard in Mihkalijärvi, where my family among other Skoltsami families were given a tiny bit of land and a small cottage after they had to move from Suenjel during the war.

Seeing her photo in color meant a great deal. The picture being brought to life with color kind of brings our dying culture alive as well. I feel I’m a Skoltsami inside, even though I never learnt our language. Whole generations have been traumatised more or less, having to move to boarding school where they had to deny their own language and started to be ashamed of their culture. So did my mother, who still doesn’t speak a word in her mother tongue” –

Sinaida’s granddaughter.