One of the endangered Sámi tribes in Norway, Nango is an architect who creates installations and collaborative works with the environment and social context in mind. His open air piece at Athens Conservatoire is called European Everything and he will now present his travelling theatre at Kassel this month.
Here we are in a restaurant late at night in Athens, surrounded by accordion players and urban wildlife, discussing Nango’s 5,000km drive from Norway to Athens in his van, his time spent working in the city junkyard and what he learned hiring local migrants to help him build a nomadic theatre for the Documenta. The theatre invited marginalised peoples and avant garde artists, writers and DJs to improvise with music, poetry and even the collective eating of wild deer.
“When I think about learning it’s always something that for me is always in a direct and straightforward way. Learning is experience for me, so being here and learning from Athens is super simple mathematics.”
Born in 1979, Nango lives and works in Tromsø, and his locals are reindeer herders from Sápmi, the traditional Sámi territory that covers northern Norway and huge parts of Sweden, Finland, and northwestern Russia. Sámi lives have long been predicated on the necessity of improvisation; skills learned from being always on the move. “The competence of improvisation is a cultural attitude of building/design traditions that exists within many northern Indigenous cultures where resources are scarce and the climate unpredictable, harsh, and unmerciful… . You can especially see it in the way the seminomadic reindeer herders arrange their workspace, their backyards, or their camps, while traveling with the herds between grazing lands.”
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