Inuit Now

– a photographic project about Greenland today

Inuit means human beings. But what does it mean to be a human being in Greenland today? And where is Greenland heading now?

Photographers Lasse Bak Mejlvang and Dennis Lehmann have examined these questions in their project Inuit Now, resulting in an exhibition and a book.

 

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Inuit Now examines the relationship between town and village on the West Coast of Greenland and exposes a big gap between the life on the countryside and the city life. Inuit Now is on exhibition in Øksnehallen in Copenhagen until July 29th.

It is not a big surprise that there is a difference between the way of life in the urban areas and the thin populated outer areas, as in most countries, but Lasse Bak Mejlvang and Dennis Lehmann conclude that there is a justified fear that Greenland might be parting into an A- and B-chain where the big cities of Nuuk, Sisimiut and Ilulissat are developing fast while the rest of Greenland is lagging behind.

The enormous transformation from a society based on fishing and hunting and depending on the nature, to being part of a globalized economy and the new digitalized world, has been difficult in Greenland and parts of ‘the old way of life’ is led side by side with ‘the new ways of living’.

 

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Lasse Bak Mejlvang has photographed life in the fast growing town Sisimiut, a town with about 5.500 inhabitants and rich youth culture. The young people portrayed in Lasse Bak Mejlvangs pictures look like the young people we know from Denmark, or from any other western country. Greenland is today a part of the European, globalized community in spite of the geographical isolation of an island far away from the European continent.

 

Dennis Lehmann has photographed the life in Upernavik, an outskirt area as big as the whole of Great Britain.
Only 3000 inhabitants live in this enormous area and time ‘stands still’ compared to the busy life in Sisimiut. The ties to the old hunting- and fishing culture are stronger here in Upernavik, than in the more populated places in Greenland. How these outskirt communities will manage to survive in the future is an obvious question, and one difficult to answer. How will Greenland appear in 50 years? And is the social cohesiveness of Greenland particularly threatened, or is it just a part of a bigger global tendency.

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Dennis Lehmann and Lasse Bak Mejlvang is inspired by the Danish photographer Jette Bang(1914-1964), who made an impressive work on documenting the everyday life, the people and the land of Greenland. Some of her original photographs are being shown at the exhibition Jette Bang in dialogue in Fotografisk Center until August 16th.

 

Inuit Now

Øksnehallen, Copenhagen

Open daily 11 – 18 pm. Wednesdays until 21 pm.

Last day of exhibition: July 29th

Jette Bang in dialogue

Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen

Open Tuesday-Friday 11-17 pm. Saturday-Sunday 12-16 pm.

Last day of exhibition: August 16th

 

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