NDAGA

Fred Ivar Utsi Klemetsen's "Frost"

Photography

 
Anna and Per Anders Gouvdageaidnu IV
 
Inga IV Johan Ante II
 
Johan Soussjavji Karen og Mathis

Norwegian photographer Fred Ivar Utsi Klemetsen's photo essay, Frost, documents the life of those who still herd their reindeer the traditional way, only using a limited number of modern tools. Klemetsen depicts his native culture, the people of the northern arctic region, using both color and black and white images.

The Sami are the indigenous people of northern Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Russia, with over 45,000 of them living in Norway. There are two groups, the sea people and the nomadic people. Klemetsen's father belongs to the sea Sami, those that farm or fish for a living. His mother belongs to the group of nomadic Sami who have herded reindeer for centuries. The reindeer have been essential to the Sami, providing them with food, clothing, shelter and tools. The Sami culture is one of hardship, driven by the extreme survival skills needed to get through the long, grueling winters on the arctic plains. 

Today, only 1,500 Sami are still herding reindeer. Because many have abandoned the traditional way of life, the Sami culture is rapidly disappearing. Klemetsen has taken on this project of photographing the Sami in order to preserve and document his heritage before it is completely lost. 

Klemetsen is a prize-winning photographer who spent 13 years on this project. He describes his photo essay as a labor of love and a search for his own identity.