Joar Nango, "Máilmmioainnuid goahti / A House for All Cosmologies" (detail), 2022 © Nango, Joar / BONO
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland
  • 27 and 28 May 2024 10.00–18.00
  • Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo

Welcome to the symposium “Transmitting the Intangible: Indigenous Perspectives on Sustaining Memory and Contemporary Culture”!

This symposium considers various forms of indigenous cultural preservation. It is a two-day hybrid event, blending both online and offline components, featuring presentations, workshops, and panel discussions. The symposium is relevant to people who are interested in museological traditions, archival practices, and indigenous perspectives.

In conjunction with the ten-year mark of the Future Library, the symposium Transmitting the Intangible takes place 27–28 May 2024 at the Nordic Black Theatre at Cafeteatret in Oslo. The event is free, but registration is required.

Find information on registration here

The symposium explores traditions of safeguarding and care, cultural preservation, and knowledge transmission outside of- and in resistance to Eurocentric frameworks – centring the voices and perspectives of indigenous people, marginalized people, and people with roots in postcolonial contexts.

Art and other cultural manifestations produced by indigenous people today, increasingly expose the limits of prevailing approaches to conservation, archiving and collections management that are rooted in Eurocentric practices. These tend to privilege objects that can be physically or digitally collected, often overlooking networks of human relations and other cultural manifestations and forms of knowledge, that evade capture and domination by Western museological practices of acquisition and archiving. The symposium deals with such matters and explores new possibilities and perspectives on contemporary museological practices.

Britta Marakatt-Labba, "Historjá" (selection), 2003–2007 © Britta Marakatt-Labba / BONO
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland

This symposium will bring together Sámi, Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, First Nations, Mixe, and other Indigenous and non-Western artists, archivists, conservators, curators, library and museum professionals, thinkers, and creative practitioners working, both in and outside of academia.


  • Transmitting and activating living heritage, and the intangible and ephemeral aspects of art and cultural heritage.
  • Ecological stewardship, longtermism, and intergenerational justice.
  • Loss, loss compensation, care, and repair.
  • The role and generative capacity of ritual, ceremony, and storytelling.
  • The ways in which Indigenous knowledge and cultures are incommensurable with non-Indigenous, colonial logics and methods of musealization, conservation and archiving.


Monday May 27

08:30 Arrival, registration, coffee, and mingling 
09:30 Welcome! Introduction by the organizers 
09:45 Opening remarks by Katie Paterson and Anne Beate Hovind
10:00 Liisa-Rávná Finbog: "Rebel with a Cause: Duodji as Political Intervention" 
10:30 Nathan Sentance: "For my Ancestors, for my descendants: Empowering Indigenous Collections Sovereignty in Museums" – virtual presentation

11:00 Break 

11:15 Tharron Bloomfield: "Transmitting Loss: The Role of Artists and Museums in Recognizing Colonization Trauma"
11:45 Juanita Kelly-Mundine: "Dancing with Our Ancestors" 

12:15 Lunch 

13:15 Solomon Ratt: "More Than Children Stories: The Transmission of Culture in Traditional Stories"
14:00 Elin Már Øyen Vister: "Building Ethical Approaches in Cross-Cultural Work: Navigating Indigenous Land with Respect and Integrity" 
14:30 Dylan Robinson: TBD 

15:15 Break 

15:45 Marita Isobel Solberg: "Innermost Beeing Outermost / A Space Traveler" – virtual performance
16:15 Yásnaya Elena Aguilar Gil: TBD – virtual presentation

16:45 Break 

17:00 Jo-ann Archibald: "Educating the Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit Through Indigenous Storywork" – virtual keynotelLecture
17:45 Wrap up of day 1 

18:15 Dinner 

Tuesday May 28 

09:00 Arrival and coffee 
09:30 Elin Már Øyen Vister – listening session
09:50 Asti Sherring: TBD 
10:00 Kanako Uzawa: TBD 
10:30 Coby Edgar and Rebecca Barnott-Clement: TBD – virtual presentation

11:00 Break 

11:15 Joel Taylor: "Transmission Between Generations and Intergenerational Transmission" 
11:45 Saara-Maija Pesonen: "On Repatriation from a Conservation Perspective"  

12:15 Lunch 

13:15 Maritea Dæhlin: "I WANT TO BE TRADITIONAL" – performance
13:25 Gunvor Guttorm: TBD – virtual presentation
13:55 Jérémie McGowan: "Arctic [Un]Limited" 

14:25 Break 

15:00 Panel Conversation (not streamed)
16:00 Closing discussion (not streamed)
16:30 Katie Paterson: "To Burn, Forest, Fire" – performance
17:00 Thanks and goodbye! 


Organic plant-based lunch and dinner will be served by Wilder Kitchen – a food studio which curates food events and serves seasonal food made of locally sourced ingredients.


Lunch: 170 NOK
Dinner: 300 NOK


The meals must be paid in advance via Vipps nr. 804889 / Framtidsbiblioteket or PayPal

Organizers and Program Committee

The symposium is organized by the National Museum of Norway, RiddoDuottarMuseat, and the Future Library. The symposium is supported by the Fritt Ord Foundation and the Sámi Parliament.

  • Brian Castriota, National Galleries Scotland / University College London
  • Jina Chang, National Museum of Norway
  • Rebecca Gordon, independent researcher
  • Ayesha Fuentes, University of Cambridge
  • Maren Haugfos, Deichman Library
  • Anne Beate Hovind, Future Library
  •  Anne May Olli, RiddoDuottarMuseat
  • Anja Sandtrø, National Museum of Norway
  • Asti Sherring, National Museum of Australia / Canberra University