Quniqjuk, Qunbuq, Quabaa
Photography, archival pigment prints, 2011
Roloff Beny Gallery, ROM Level 4
Quniqjuk: indistinct horizon, hazy
Qunbuq: brightness on horizon indicating presence of ice on ocean
Quabaa: split things that are frozen together
Zacharias Kunuk has said, “Inuit are the only people to go from the Stone Age to the Digital Age in a single generation.” Donald Weber travelled to Igloolik, Nunavut, to photograph its residents and during a session at Ataguttaaluk High School, he photographed his subjects illuminated by whatever device they had on them. In light of radical cultural and environmental change, these photos present modern Inuit as they combine traditional values with modern technology to navigate their future at the edge of a radically changing world.
This work was commissioned by Canadian Art for “Ideas North,” Fall 2011.
Donald Weber is a photographer fascinated by the subject of power (be it economic, political, psychological) and how it deploys an all-encompassing theatre for its subjects. His current work investigates global climate change as a social process, a personal and public discourse with nature. His numerous awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and two World Press Photo prizes. He is a member of the acclaimed VII Photo agency.
Digital Indigenous Democracy
IsumaTV, Filmmaker, Producer
When internet service in remote Arctic communities is 100 times more expensive than southern Canada in cost-per-megabyte, how can Inuit use modern media technology to defend and promote their interests in the 21st Century? Oral cultures empowered by digital media can combat inequalities between North and South. Traditional values of adaptation and collaboration enable Inuit to adapt new media tools to communication in their own Inuktitut language. Mixing traditional values and new technology, indigenous communities on Baffin Island try to moderate the impacts of climate change and transnational development in the region. Digital Indigenous Democracy adapts Inuit consensus to modern decision-making.
Visit Digital Indigenous Democracy online: www.isuma.tv/did.