Torbjörn Jakobsson

Eight Seasons

Storgata 95

1. February 2011 - 15. May 2011

Mari Hildung

The exhibition is part of a series of common interest stories that appeared in the newspaper Västerbottens-Kuriren in 2008, in which photographer Torbjörn Jakobsson and journalist Bertil Wallin followed the Rehnfjells, a young family of reindeer herders during the autumn “sarv” slaughter, the winter migrations and the summer calf branding over a one-year period:

A reindeer herding year can be divided into eight seasons; they are governed by the rhythms of nature, the herds’ needs, and grazing conditions. Photographer Torbjörn Jakobsson takes us with him as we follow the Sami herders’ movements in Västerbotten, north of Umeå. Our first encounter with Sophia, Johan and their children Niila and Pontus takes place in late summer during calf branding season high up in the hills, a mere stone’s throw from the Norwegian border. And then we are invited into a world that most of us know little or nothing about.

Through Jakobsson’s pictures, we become intimately acquainted with the Rehnfjell family and with what is so special about their nomadic lifestyle. The story of Sophia and Johan Rehnfjell and their children is a story of hard work, dedicated traditions and a tight-knit sense of community. But it is also about fresh challenges, where climate change, in particular, threatens the very basis of their existence. The conditions for the survival of Samis as reindeer herders have changed, Sophia claims, so she has set her sights on tourism.

“Eight Seasons” is Perspektivet Museum’s contribution during Sami Week 2011. It was produced by Västerbotten’s Museum in Umeå, in collaboration with Västerbottens-Kuriren.