Kola Saami Ethnopolitics

Members: Yulian Konstantinov, Trond Thuen, Vladislava Vladimirova, Petia Mankova

Reindeer herder Piotr Khatanei, Brigade 8, SKhPK `Tundra`(Lovozero). Photo: Y. Konstantinov

The group looks at ongoing processes of change on the Kola peninsula due to modernization processes of various kinds, as they can be observed among reindeer herders as well as the populations in urban areas. Three projects are running, and a series of seminars on tourism on the Kola has been arranged as well.

The project Kola Saami Herders in Post-Soviet Society: Ethnopolitics in Urban and Tundra Spaces is completed. Project description here.


INPOINT: Socioeconomic significance of 21 c. developmental projects in Northwest Russia by Professor Yulian Konstantinov and Professor Emeritus Trond Thuen

Collage INPOINT (1)

This project aims to investigate how ‘ordinary people’ on the Kola Peninsula are impacted by the effects of rapid social change produced by state initiated modernization projects within sectors such as oil and gas extraction and processing, mining and other forms of industrial development. It studies the construction of governmental and regional social policies and to what extent they capture social problems that are experienced at the grass-roots level. ‘Informal economies’ is a main focus of interest. Within this context we want to know what sense the general public makes of current events, as well as the social policy applications that are adopted on a community level, i.e. strategies of resilience or resistance to state-promoted projects. The project concentrates on communities on a gradient from the big city (Murmansk, Archangelsk) to smaller urbanized areas such as Apatity, Revda, Teriberka, Severodvinsk, to the smallest tundra village (e.g. Krasnoshchel’e). Through its focus on broadly defined social issues the project seeks to balance research efforts against the technological and economic development oriented types of research that seems to dominate scientific work in the region.


Traditional Knowledge and Unified standards: the role of the professional school for the production of reindeer herders and in the ethnopolitical discourse among the Kola Sami by Petia Mankova

My main research objective is to see to what extent the centralised school system in Russia leaves  space to local lore and local knowledge in the school, and to what extent indigenous/ traditional knowledge, especially traditional ecological knowledge is incorporated and communicated in the vocational school in Lovosero (The Northern National Litsey – often referred to as the Sami national school). In what ways the school plays a formative role for the education of young people and caters for the future development of the area.


Reasserting Indigenous Life-Styles in the European North: Reasserting Indigenous Life-Styles in the European North: Ideology and Postsoviet Reality in The Case of the Russian Sami, by Vladislava Vladimirova