RUUKKU Call: Parallel indigeneities, art worlds and frictions

Today, Indigenous peoples live in very diverse environments, among different dominations, and in varying political conditions. Although the histories of Indigenous peoples have much in common, the experiences of colonization as well as contemporalities and ways of self-understanding vary. These experiences are expressed, for example, in stories, handicrafts, songs, and visual arts, and are conceptualized using various discursive resources. The contemporary art of Indigenous peoples is often place-bound and earth-based.
While the colonization of countries, bodies, and minds continues with various assimilationist and extractivist actions, Indigenous peoples' knowledge is currently appreciated, asked for, and desired in research and art institutions. For example, Indigenous studies programs are established at universities, and the works of Indigenous artists are curated for the world's most prestigious exhibitions. It is also widely recognized that the knowledge of Indigenous peoples is needed, especially in the transition to sustainability.
In the arts, the intersection of desires and needs can cause many affects and frictions, even shame and silence. Among Indigenous peoples, there may be ‘ethnostress', i.e., the confusion that one does not consider oneself to be Indigenous enough if, for example, one does not speak the language of one's people or know many handicraft skills. Elsewhere, artists, researchers, and curators may find the colonial baggage of their art institution heavy or otherwise feel inhibited from dealing with de/colonial issues. These experiences and inhibitions can be challenging to talk about.
We invite indigenous researchers, as well as artist-researchers and art pedagogists, working with the art of Indigenous peoples and other racialized and marginalized peoples to consider our questions about the coexistence of diverse art worlds. How can communal and intergenerational experiences be discussed by the arts? How can art and artistic research touch the ground and participate in circular cycles? How can museums, archives, and art institutions be decolonized from the viewpoint of indigenous peoples? How could art touch friction and silences in a multi-voiced and responsible way? How can these issues be approached through artistic research, and how does the perspective of indigenous studies challenge it?
We encourage artists and researchers to approach questions responsively, and also in ways that draw from rituals and folk art, such as incantation, prayer, ornament, dream, utopia, and humming.
The issue's editors are Lea Kantonen, Pekka Kantonen, Hanna Guttorm, Katarina Pirak Sikku and Priska Falin.
We ask you to create your research exposition proposals in the Research Catalogue (RC) publishing platform at
Note! The use of RC requires a full user account (see ‘register' and choose ‘full account'). In addition to the theme and its discussion, the exposition must include the planned structure in the RC platform. Please submit your proposals (complete expositions) via RC (‘submit for review', and choose the portal ‘RUUKKU') by the 16th of February 2024 29th of February 2024. 31st of March 2024.
You can discuss draft submissions with the editors until the 30th of November 2023. In this case, you must share the exposition with the editors using RC's link share function. From the exposition menu, choose ‘share', and select the last option (‘When enabled…'). Note that the actual share settings are not modified, and the exposition remains private. With the share link, you can present your exposition to others and continue working on it. Confirm the selection and send the link via e-mail to the address below.
For additional information about the issue, and discussing draft submissions, please contact Lea Kantonen at
If you need assistance with the Research Catalogue, please contact Priska Falin at
You can find detailed instructions for submitting expositions and drafts at
Established in 2013, RUUKKU is a multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal for artistic research. It is published on Research Catalogue (RC), an international publication platform and database that enables multimedia elements. RUUKKU is published and supported by the University of the Arts Helsinki, Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture, and the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland. The primary languages of publication are Finnish, Swedish, and English.