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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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