All stories begin with a gaze into the fire

It is said that the Norwegian state was founded on the territory of two peoples, the Norwegian and the Sami. Ibsen is part of the Norwegian literary canon. My great-grandfather, a river Sami who made a living from salmon fishing and hunting from the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th, was born and raised in the far north of the Norwegian state, on Sami territory. There was no Sami Ibsen for him to read, so he read Ibsen. He learned Terje Vigen by heart, and he brought the foreign words, in a language that was not his, into his world and made them his own. That’s what my text is about, the Ibsenian, the Norwegian and the Sami.

Joik by Ruth Mari Hansen Brinis.

Kathrine Nedrejord
Kathrine Nedrejord is a Sami and Norwegian writer and playwright living in France. Nedrejord has published several novels for children, young people and adults. In addition, she was the house dramatist at The Norwegian Centre for New Playwriting and the National Theatre in Oslo. The play “Brent jord” was nominated for the Norwegian Ibsen Award in 2015. Her latest novel “Forbryter og straff” was nominated for The Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2023.