Desires, Obedient and Disobedient bodies in conflict: The struggle to preserve or exploit Gállok (Kallak) and the human bodies involved
This presentation discusses a contemporary conflict or rebellion at Gállok (Kallak), Jokkmokk, Sápmi-the land of the indigenous Sámi, Sweden. In 2006 the British prospecting company Beowulf Mining Plc. was granted rights to prospect for iron ore in the area. Worried local inhabitants started following the process, and by 2011, a local resistance group started its work to question the project. The resistance was fuelled by the prospecting company CEO describing the area as without inhabitants, without human bodies, as he showed an image of an empty (of human bodies) landscape answering the question – of what does the local inhabitants say, with the rhetoric question “ I ask ‘what local inhabitants?!’. The local resistance responded by a manifestation showing their faces on a wall at the annual Jokkmokk Winter Market of 2012.
Summer 2013, a test mining on the by the prospecting company and its shareholders desired iron ore body was scheduled. From June, different persons travelled here to protest on location, to provide support to the local inhabitants. Activists that had been protecting the Ojnare forest at Gotland (an island south east of Stockholm) in 2012, came on the invitation by the Gállok local resistance and offered their own bodies to protect the Gállok. They climbed machines and erected blockades. Although the prospecting company, JIMAB, had been reported to the police for illegal actions since 2012, the police forces came only on the request by the very same prospecting company to evict the protesters. There are numerous films and photos from those five police interventions, where human bodies – as well as animals (dogs) are involved. I have followed these events, both on site, through direct more or less live reporting on social media (mainly Facebook) and also by collaboration with some of the activists who have reported to me through diaries and notes. This presentation is a first attempt to formulate an analysis of the conflicting bodies involved, human and non-human, postures, voices, fear and desires involved.