Featured weekly article: From the Bronx to the Wilderness: Inari-Sami Rap, Language Revitalisation and Contested Ethnic Stereotypes

From the Bronx to the Wilderness: Inari-Sami Rap, Language Revitalisation and Contested Ethnic Stereotypes

By Juha Ridanpää and Annika Pasanen

Volume 9, Issue 2, pages 213-230

Abstract

This article discusses how rap music operates as an emancipatory ‘tool’ in the processes of language preservation and the deconstruction of ethnic stereotypes. It focuses on Amoc, the first ever rap musician to use the Inari Sami language, a minority language spoken in Northern Finland with only approximately 350 remaining speakers. The case as a whole is understood as a confrontation between two opposite discursive worlds. Rap music is perceived as a representation of urbanity, whereas the ethnic Sami culture is understood as a nationally ‘othered’ discourse based on old subordinating stereotypes of primitive people living in nature, beyond civilisation. In this context Amoc represents a bridge-builder between these two contrary worlds. This article discusses how Sami rap, as a modernised artistic practice, functions as an emancipatory ‘tool’ deconstructing the stereotypical ways of approaching ethnic heritages and thereby helping to sustain and revitalise the minority language of the Inari Sami group.

Read the full article here.

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