Heirs of the bear (Greenland)

Human resonances

Disko Bay, Greenland. Akunnaaq is a small village of 47 inhabitants, all Inuit.

The break with the way of life of the ancients, the changes in the environment, the food and the economy: the past is so romanticized and stereotyped that it is almost exotic today, even for the Inuit themselves.

But if the traditional way of life has well and truly disappeared, the culture, woven by the social beings who share it, is still as strong. It is transformed, between claim and adaptation.

Between the confined heat of the interiors and the icy cold of the outdoors; between festive community and solitary hunting; between isolation and internet connection; between sled dogs and snowmobiles: an in-between world.

A twilight revealing contrasts unified by a sincere and sensitive vision of the world of the inhabitants on their territory.

Made during the résidence artistique « Le Manguier » de mars à avril 2020, avec le soutien de Fujifilm France.

Exposé au festival « l’Homme et la mer » à Guilvinec du 1er juin au 30 septembre 2021 et au festival « Whale Fest » à Kelibia, Tunisie, en septembre 2021.

"There is a lightness in the images brought back from Akunnaaq by Lorraine Turci during the first confinement. Forty-seven inhabitants live in this Inuit village on Disko Bay, at the eastern tip of Greenland. There, as in the rest of the country, fishing is the main source of income.

The sea is everywhere. Around them, in the plates, the spirits and the local legends. However, one feels that modernity and opulence have settled in this ocean of ice, where the sea, frozen in winter, can be crossed by snowmobiles and motorized boats when summer comes.

[...] These charming, colorful and typical cabins seen from outside are equipped with all the modern comforts inside. A necessary contrast to break the romantic clichés and tell the story of today's Inuit, who keep a strong link with their traditions while enjoying WiFi."

Elodie Cabrera for Télérama, July 2021

  ·  Héritiers de l’ours (Groenland)

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  • The first Danish missionaries arrived in Greenland in the mid-18th century to convert the Inuit to Protestantism. Soon after, Greenland became a Danish colony. The Inuit suffered from imported diseases, the new organization of their living environment and the control exercised abroad by the colonialists. Although the right to self-government was obtained in 1979, Greenland is a constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark. It is still economically dependent and the Danish government continues to decide important matters, including its foreign policy.
  • Denmark considers itself a good colonizer, thus evading the heart of the problem: the question is not the quality of colonialism, but its existence and its consequences. Today, colonization is thus translated in another way, by a paternalism which maintains the Greenlanders in a future which escapes them.
  • Inuit culture is very much linked to hunting. Main source of food for centuries, it was a dangerous discipline requiring multiple skills. Seal, whale, beluga and reindeer hunters were admired by the community. Among them, the one who came back victorious from the fight with the polar bear became a legend, while the less skilled had to be satisfied with fishing. Today, hunting, subject to a quota, can no longer be a source of sufficient income. Especially since the ban on the export of sealskins. Over the course of a generation, there has been a reversal of values: the hunter no longer has anything more than symbolic recognition, it is now better to live off fishing.
  • The food has totally changed since the last century. Previously composed almost exclusively of products from their hunting, fishing and gathering, it is increasingly replaced by imported industrial Danish food. Diabetes, until then unknown to the Inuit, has exploded and cancers are the first cause of death.