Sumut ?

( où vas-tu ? )

The small village of Akunnaq, Greenland, Disko Bay. A sincere and sensitive encounter with inhabitants, a territory and a vision of the world.

The break with the way of life of the ancients, changes in the environment, food and economy: the past is so romanticized and stereotyped that it is even today almost as exotic for Greenlanders as it is for us. Difficulty to identify as Inuit and live at the same time in a modern world.

The traditional way of life has indeed disappeared, but Inuit culture, woven by the social beings who share it, is still very strong. It is the transformation of an indigenous identity, between claiming and adaptation.

Between the confined warmth of indoors and the freezing cold of outdoors; between festive community and solitary hunting; between isolation and internet connection; between sled dogs and snowmobiles, thetwilight is revealing of contrasts.

Project supported by Fujifilm and realized within the framework of the artistic residency Le Manguier, March 2020.

  • The first missionaries arrived in Greenland in the at the beginning of the 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 colonials.
  • Denmark sees itself as 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 that keeps the Greenlanders in a future that get away from them.
  • In Denmark, racism against Greenlanders is endemic, feeding on ignorance and misperceptions. Only one third of Danish high school students claim to have received an education about Greenland.
  • Here the diet has totally changed since the last century. Previously almost exclusively composed of the products of their hunting, fishing and gathering, it has been replaced by imported Danish food. Diabetes, previously unknown to the Inuit, has exploded and cancers are the leading cause of death.
  • In the village only three inhabitants still own dogs: for the tradition and the passion of this expensive hobby that has become the dog sledding.
  • In the middle of the 20th century, entire villages were moved to establish American military bases, or simply suppressed because they were considered by Denmark to be too costly administratively. The Inuit did not gain the right to self-government until 1979, and Greenland has only been officially a constituent country of Denmark since 2009. Economically, it is still dependent and the Danish government continues to decide on important matters, including foreign policy.
  • Traditionnellement le phoque était la nourriture la plus abondante pour les inuits, et sa fourrure l'élément vestimentaire principal, en plus d'une source de revenu.
 Un bon chasseur avait un statut important dans la communauté d'alors, tandis que celui qui était mauvais allait à la pêche. Aujourd'hui la chasse du poque est soumise à quota et l'exportation interdite. Encore un changement de valeur : pour subvenir aux besoins croissants d'un mode de vie moderne, la pêche a remplacé la chasse.