Resistance in Maxida Märak’s album Utopi

Ann Werner

Abstract


In this article, the music, lyrics, and music videos of Maxida Märak’s 2019 debut solo album Utopi (Utopia) are analysed using feminist, decolonial theories. The article discusses how the construction of resistance to colonial, patriarchal, and capitalist oppressions takes form on Utopi, and shows popular music’s relationship to feminist and Indigenous resistance today. Lyrics, sounds, and images are analysed using discourse analysis, leading to the conclusion that Utopi holds ambiguous possibilities, of resisting settler colonialism, sexism, racism, and capitalism, while at the same time reinforcing neoliberal story telling tropes of individual success, and marketing Indigenous episteme as goods. Currently the most visible Indigenous pop and rap artist in Sweden, Märak was born in Stockholm and considers Jokkmokk, in Sápmi, her home. She became famous for her music and political activism for Saami rights and Saami visibility in 2015, and reached a larger audience when she performed in the intermission of Melodifestivalen, the Swedish contest leading up to Eurovision, in 2018. During 2019, she released her first, full length album with songs about motherhood, land, class, love, sex, and loss. She sings and raps mainly in Swedish, and blends rap, pop, and Saami musical heritage. The conclusion of this article shows how land, and Saami feminine spirituality, are constructed as the basis for feminist, anti-capitalist, and anti-settler colonial activism in Märak’s work.

Keywords


Maxida Märak, decolonial feminism, Saami, popular music, resistance

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References


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Discography

Maxida Märak. 2019. Utopi (Utopia), Playground Music Scandinavia PGMCD102 (CD) / PGMLP102, 7332181094657 (Vinyl). (https://www.discogs.com/

Maxida-M%C3%A4rak-Utopi/master/1606894) including 10 songs in the following order:

“Letar lite ljus här” (Looking for some light here)

“Lova ingenting” (Promise nothing)

“Kvinnosak” (Women’s cause)

‘Skjuter den som sjunger” (Shooting the singer)

“Mayday”

“Svettig” (Sweaty)

“Akta dig” (Watch out/Watch yourself)

“Fel sida on slottet” (Wrong side of the castle)

”Låt det rasa” (Let it fall down)

”Kommer aldrig att lämna dig” (Will never leave you)

Online video

”Letar lite ljus här” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TgFHFp7l2E)

”Akta dig” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4mUcecRQMI)




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