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Branding Nordic indigeneities

Carina Ren (Department of Culture and Learning, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Kirsten Thisted (Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark)

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN: 1753-8335

Article publication date: 17 June 2021

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to explore the concept of the indigenous and how Greenlandic and Sámi indigeneities is expressed, made sense of and contested within a Nordic context by using the Eurovision Song Contest as a branding platform.

Design/methodology/approach

Initiating with an introduction of the historical and political contexts of Sámi and Greenlandic Inuit indigeneity, the study compares lyrics, stage performances and artefacts of two Sámi and Greenlandic contributions into the European Song Contest. This is used to discuss the situated ways in which indigenous identity and culture are branded.

Findings

The study shows how seemingly “similar” indigenous identity positions take on very different expressions and meanings as Arctic, indigenous and global identity discourses manifest themselves and intertwine in a Greenlandic and Sámi context. This indicates, as we discuss, that indigeneity in a Nordic context is tightly connected to historical and political specificities.

Research limitations/implications

The study argues against a “one size fits all” approach to defining the indigenous and even more so attempts to “pinning down” universal indigenous issues or challenges.

Practical implications

The study highlights how decisions on whether or how to use the indigenous in place or destination branding processes should always be sensitive to its historical and political contexts.

Originality/value

By focusing on the most prevalent European indigenous groups, the Sámi from the Northern parts of Norway and Greenlandic Inuit, rather than existing nation states, this study expands on current research on Eurovision and nation branding. By exploring the role of the indigenous in place branding, this study also contributes to the existing place branding literature, which overwhelmingly relates to the branding of whole nations or to specific places within nations, such as capital cities.

Keywords

Citation

Ren, C. and Thisted, K. (2021), "Branding Nordic indigeneities", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMD-01-2020-0007

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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