Songs of solace and survival, sung in Ume Sámi.
Katarina Barruk is of the central young artists from Sápmi today, known for a fierce, yet nimble and down-to-earth mix of pop music, traditional joik and improvisation. She is raised in Lusspie (Storuman) and Gajhrege (Gardfjäll), but is currently based in Oslo. Over the last decade, she has toured all of Europe.
Barruk grew up in a place where the majority spoke Swedish. She could never share her mother tongue, Ume Sámi, with her friends. The language is on UNESCO's red list of critically endangered languages, but many Umesámis are fighting for their language - and Barruk is at the forefront of this struggle. She is one of the few young people to speak it fluently today, and has been active in organizing meetings where Ule Sámi can be spoken - as well as furthering the cause of the language through her music.
In 2020 she received the prestigious “SKAPs Kulturbärarpris” for this work. “I do not use Ume Sámi language in music to prove a point,” she has explained before. “It is more about the fact that I can be myself. It is a way of inviting my friends and the audience into my universe, where Ume Sámi is the norm, highly topical and alive.”
Over the years, Barruks powerful and clear voice has captured the imaginations of many listeners. She has made music for Gwangju Biennale in South Korea, and together with the Norwegian producers Arnljot Nordvik and Christo Stangness, she has completed her second album, the follow-up to the artful 2015 debut Báruos. “When I perform, I see inner images of places, people and events. I try to take the audience with me to those places and to my emotional state. I believe that many have adapted to today’s rapid society and I want my music to bring freedom, a breathing space for people to rest in”, she has stated in interviews before. This autumn, she will bring this breathing space to Riksscenen during Oslo World.