From The Stone Age To The Digital Age | The Inuit People & Technology

Sula Qunangat, 26 and son Todd-Robert, 10

 

Architect and Photographer Donald Weber is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of these portrait/documentary photography.  From the project ‘Quniqjuk, Qunbuq, Quabaa’To see Donald’s body of work, click on any image.

 

Julia Amarualik, 74

 

Martha Ipkangnak, 29

 

Rosa Ipkangnak, 34

 

Quniqjuk: indistinct horizon, hazy
Qunbuq: brightness on horizon indicating presence of ice on ocean
Quabaa: split things that are frozen together

 

Jeanitta Aqqiaruq, 23 and daughter Jalen, 2.5

 

Shawn Kunuk, 22

 

In the early twentieth century, pioneering photographer and filmmaker Robert J. Flaherty traveled north to the Arctic where he made a series of portraits and films of local Inuit people using the technology of the time – namely, seal oil lamps, to illuminate their faces during the dark days of winter. Inspired by Flaherty’s work, Donald Weber travelled to Igloolik in Nunavut Territory to make his own series of portraits that would also speak to the modern condition of Inuit society.

 

Vincent Hanniliaq, 32

 

During a sitting at Ataguttaaluk High School in Igloolik, Weber photographed each participant using whatever technological device they had on them (mobile phones, games, television screens, etc.) They present a generation on the edge of a radically changing world.

 

Lisa Paniak, 20

 

As Weber explains – “In the Arctic language, there is a word, quniqjuk, which means the indistinct horizon of the unknown future. Standing in the snow, amidst this indistinct horizon, Zacharias Kunuk, in his soft spoken, yet very blunt way, offered this: ‘The Inuit are the only people to go from the Stone Age to the Digital Age in one generation.’ What happens in one generation, what happens when ‘The System’ (as Kunuk called it) makes its appearance at the proverbial ice edge?”

 

Alex IQuniqjuk, Qunbuq, Quabaairaq, 18 and son Jonathan, 3 months

 

Margaret Kipsigak, 74

 

All images © Donald Weber

 

 

See also:

War Sand

By Donald Weber

 

 

 

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