Colourising the past: Digital visual repatriation of colourised Sámi photography

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Colourised photographs have become a popular form of social media content, and this article examines how the digital sharing of colourised colonial photographs from the Sápmi region may develop into a kind of informal visual repatriation. This article presents a case study on the decolonial photographic practices of the Sámi colouriser Per Ivar Somby, who mines digitised photo archives, colourises selected photos, and subsequently shares them on his social media profiles. The article draws on a qualitative, netnographic study of Somby's Colour Your Past profiles in Facebook and Instagram and demonstrates how Somby and his followers reclaim photos of Sámi people produced during historical encounters with non-Sámi photographers. Drawing on Hirsch's (2008, 2012) concept affiliative postmemory, the analysis examines how historical information and affective responses becomes interwoven in reparative readings of colonial photos.
TidsskriftMemory, Mind & Media
Udgave nummere16
Sider (fra-til)1-18
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 4 jun. 2024


  • Sámi
  • photography
  • colourisation
  • affiliative postmemory
  • visual repatriation
  • decolonisation
  • Social Media

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