Nikon Imaging | United Kingdom | Europe

As a Swedish photographer, Joel's been fascinated by the Sami people who have inhabited the local lands of Sweden for over 5,000 years. Working with Nikon and using his sports photography roots, Joel showcases the daily life of the Sami, overthrowing stereotypes and demonstrating the transition from traditional activities to modern times.

Maxida Märak

Maxida Märak is an artist who performs in Stockholm.

"When I grew up, I felt like I lacked role models who had been through the Sami struggle and fight for indigenous rights, so I felt like I had to become a role model myself."

Ola Stinnerbom

Ola Stinnerbom, Sami artist and drum maker.

"I work to reincarnate the Sami drum and showcase its relevance in modern times. The idea is to motivate Sami children and young people to build their own drum and play on it, celebrating our cultural heritage."

Merethe Kuhmunen

Merethe Kuhmunen, student at the Leather and Textile programme at the Sami’s Education Centre.

"I remember the first time I realised that I liked girls; I was 10 years old. Where I come from, people never talked about LGBT issues, so it took a long time for me to tell people. Once I did, I felt like the world opened up. Even today, I feel that there is more to be done regarding LGBT issues in Sápmi. I will not give up. I think that everyone should get to be who they are."

Marika Renhuvud

Marika Renhuvud is a dancer who grew up by the waterfall in Storsätern, and comes from Sweden’s southernmost Sami village, Idre.

"I moved to Falun when I was ten years old and started dancing then. I have kept dancing ever since and now live in Stockholm where I'm studying dance at the Ballet Academy."

"It wasn't an obvious choice for me to pursue a career in dance. I have loved working with reindeers my whole life, and have followed my dad into the reindeer forest since I was a small child. It's something I really love - but I also realised that I have to dance, as it makes me happier than anything else."

"I think that through dance, you can inform and tell stories about our culture. It allows me to express myself - my pain, what I feel and think and what I want to change in our society."

Matti Berg

Matti Berg is chairman of Girjas Sami village. A decision in the Gällivare district court in February, 2016 granted Girjas exclusive rights to control fishing and hunting in the area, restoring powers taken from the Sami people by Sweden’s Parliament in 1993.

"These lands mean so much to me; they are a part of me, part of my people and part of my entire identity. They are everything."

Katarina Kielatis

Katarina Kielatis, student at the Leather and Textile programme at the Sami’s Education Centre.

"I don’t like the word 'lapp' because it is a degrading, minimising and discriminatory word that the Swedish government has applied on us. I use the word 'Sami' because Sami people have always used that word."

Bo Sunna

Since the 1980s, Bo Sunna and his family have been fighting the local and national authorities to regain the right to herd reindeer, and thus, regain their Sami identity and rights as a native population.

Right now, the family and their reindeers are living outside the juridical system, without the protection other Samis enjoy. Bo Sunna's children and grandchildren are not allowed to own reindeer, even though they are Samis and part of a family with a history of reindeer herding.

Anders Sunna

Anders Sunna, artist

"Much of my art is based on my family’s experiences and events they have endured, such as the displacement which took place in 1986."

Mattias Jonsson

"I’ve had a fantastic upbringing thanks to the Sami culture and way of life. I want to give the same kind of upbringing to my children and guide them as much as possible."