by asinnajaq ᐊᓯᓐᓇᐃᔭᖅ, May 2019
In the 1970s Igloolik was the last town in its region to get a cable television connection. The town voted, twice, against having cable TV brought into their homes. It might seem that access to cable TV is an easy choice, and one could even ask, Why bother fighting it, the “idiot box”? But the residents of Igloolik, and all over Inuit Nunangat, were experiencing huge shifts in their ways of living. They were constantly learning to live differently, and these cumulative changes made their day-to-day human experience much different than ever before. With very not-Inuk stories on cable TV, why should Inuit have been expected to accept it with open hands? How well would children who grew up with television be able to connect to Inuit culture?
by Gabriela Gámez, June 2019
-- Coming June 2019 --
by Isuma, June 2019
-- Coming June 2019 --
By Isuma, May 2019
Listen to the audio of the film. In April 1961, John Kennedy is America’s new President, the Cold War heats up in Berlin and nuclear bombers are deployed from bases in arctic Canada. In Kapuivik, north Baffin Island, Noah Piugattuk’s nomadic Inuit band live and hunt by dog team as his ancestors did when he was born in 1900. When the white man known as Boss arrives at Piugattuk’s hunting camp, what appears as a chance meeting soon opens up the prospect of momentous change. Boss is an agent of the government, assigned to get Piugattuk to move his band to settlement housing and send his children to school so they can get jobs and make money. But Kapuivik is Piugattuk’s homeland. He takes no part in the Canadian experience; and cannot imagine what his children would do with money.
The Isuma Book is an iterative online publication. New content is released each month from May to November during the period of the 58th Biennale di Venezia, including essays, interviews, podcasts, images and historical research.
The Isuma Book begins with the publishing of the script in Inuktitut and English for One Day in the life of Noah Piugattuk, Isuma’s most recent feature-length video. The script centers on an April 1961 encounter in the high Arctic, the day when Noah Piugattuk and his family were ordered to leave their homeland and relocate to the settlement of Igloolik. For Piugattuk, this encounter set the mechanics of colonialism in motion and the modern Inuit self-determination movement of which he was a part.
The Isuma Book also begins with the publishing of hundreds of images that offer a view into Isuma’s work since 1985. This growing archive documents a practice that privileges media, material and narrative invention. The images reveal how each production is made—from the sewing of costumes to the building of props to setting up a scene—and who was involved. Together they form a picture of Inuit self-representation.
In the spirit of working together for a common purpose, The Isuma Book includes multiple voices, media and topics. Commissioned essays and republished texts cover subjects such as the origins of Isuma Productions and Isuma TV; the media environment in Nunavut in the 1990s and 2000s; the impact of forced relocation of Inuit and its intersection with the Cold War; and the ways in which Isuma’s practice resonates with subsequent generations of Inuk filmmakers and scholars.
In the spirit of media democracy, the book is free and accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. At the close of the biennial the digital book will be released in print. The Isuma Book is the most comprehensive book on Isuma to date, spanning more than three decades of practice.
The Isuma Book Editorial Board was created to have many voices to include a wide selection of content for the digital and printed Isuma Book. Editorial Board is composed of Asinnajaq, Gabriela Gamez, Cecilia Greyson, Candice Hopkins, Gillian Robinson, Lucy Tulugarjuk who meet bi-weekly from November, 2018 to November 2019 to discuss content and engage new writings and artist's projects around content and new film.