Qapirangajuq: Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change

Zacharias Kunuk + Ian Mauro

HD Video, 2010, 54-minutes with introduction by Zacharias Kunuk
Roloff Beny Gallery, ROM Level 4

  • Ian Mauro (left) and Zacharias Kunuk (right) in Igloolik, Nunavut

  • Zacharias Kunuk

Qapirangajuq is the world’s first Inuktitut language film on climate change and includes the traditional knowledge and experience of Inuit elders and hunters from across Nunavut. Travelling on the land, the viewer sees firsthand the Arctic and its people, and how they are interconnected and affected by a warming world.

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Zacharias Kunuk

Zacharias Kunuk is an Inuk filmmaker who traded carvings for his first video camera, and went on to direct Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner as well as many other award-winning dramatic and documentary films that have screened globally. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 2005.

Ian Mauro

Ian Mauro, PhD, is a Canada Research Chair in human dimensions of environmental change. As both a scientist and filmmaker, he has directed projects on climate change in both the Arctic and Atlantic regions. He is interested in local and indigenous knowledge and its collection, conservation, and communication using digital media.

Informer Text

Appearing and Spearing: Inuit Knowledge,
Science and a New Way of Seeing Climate Change

Ian Mauro
Professor and Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Environmental Change

Qapirangajuq: Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change challenges our conventional way of thinking about climate change. Across Nunavut, elders indicated that the sun was out of position, making it appear as if “the world has tilted on its axis.” By linking this traditional knowledge with science, we determined that climate change is increasing the frequency of mirages, which are altering the visual landscape of the Arctic and making celestial bodies appear differently in the sky. These mirages, caused by refraction, reminded Inuit of spear fishing and how hunters must adapt their technique to account for the visual distortion between the perceived and actual position of a fish in water. Qapirangajuq means to “spear strangely” and is a testament to Inuit knowledge regarding climate change.

This Clement World

This Clement World is a fiercely creative and charismatic tribute to our rapidly changing environment, as seen through the prism of Cynthia Hopkins’ deeply personal lens and wild cross-disciplinary style. Performed live with a 15-piece chorus and band, This Clement World blends outlandish fiction and original avant-folk songs with Hopkins’ own documentary footage from an Arctic expedition with Cape Farewell, infusing our global climate crisis with humour, poetics and urgency.

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Day of Dialogue

Participate in an afternoon of high-level balanced presentations and discussion about the impacts of climate change on Inuit communities with leading experts and stakeholders.

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Download the Exhibition Guide

Download your copy of the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Festival and Exhibition Guide (PDF 14Mb).

Multimedia Extras

View our Multimedia Extras to learn more about the issues behind Carbon 14: Climate is Culture.