“Máze”: Céline Clanet Documents a Sámi Village in the Norwegian Lapland

On Art and Aesthetics

Máze: Photography by Céline Clanet (2008, Photolucida)

Since 2005, French photographer Céline Clanet has been frequenting the European Arctic continental territory—known as “Lapland”—and capturing the lives of the local Sámi people. She has regularly travelled to Máze, a small village located at the highest point of the European map, far above the Arctic Circle, in the Norwegian Lapland. Her excellent Máze series—available as a book from Photolucida—has been awarded with several prizes in Europe and USA, including the Critical Mass Book Award (USA).

Máze” features frigid exteriors and candle-lit interiors, trailers, tents, reindeer and dogs. The images fill the viewer with a sense of wonder, given the magnificence of the landscape, and also with a touch of sadness, given the harshness of the environment. A great tension is evident here: between a passionate desire to hold onto the traditions of the past and a certain…

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