Ittoqqortoormit, stories from yonder


Ittoqqortoormiit, stories from yonder’ is composed of photographs taken by Tanguy Sandré, PhD Research Fellow, and Jeanne Gherardi, Associate-Professor, during research stays in fall 2021 and spring 2022 in Ittoqqortoormiit, east of Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland). Ittoqqortoormiit is a town of 354 inhabitants (2022), located at the mouth of the Kangertittivaq/Scoresby Sund, the largest fjord in the world. Ittoqqortoormiit is the northernmost settlement on the east coast of Kalaallit Nunaat (70° 30′ N 22° W). The community was founded in 1924–1925 by Ejnar Mikkelsen and 70 Inuit, mostly from Tasiilaq, to reaffirm Danish sovereignty over Norway. The community has long relied on subsistence hunting – polar bear, walrus, narwhal, muskox, seal, etc. – as their main source of income. In 2022, the Ittoqqortoormeermii, the inhabitants of Ittoqqortoormiit, are facing multidimensional transformations due to increased institutional marginalisation, a shrinking population, the absence of a doctor, environmental restrictions on hunting, an endangered language and changing climate and sea ice conditions.

The exhibition was conceived by two French researchers, our voices and our stories relate our experiences and do not substitute for those of the inhabitants of this community. This exhibition was conceived as part of the SeMPER-Arctic project (2020-2024), which aims to understand and analyze the sources of resilience in the Arctic by gathering local stories of change, disruption and their consequences in three Arctic communities, including Ittoqqortoormiit.

Note: Throughout the exhibition, we use the local-specific terminology for Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat), Greenlandic Inuit (Kalaallit) and Greenlandic Inuk (Kalaaleq) in Kalaallisut, the West-Greenlandic Inuit language. Additionally, we also use Tunumiisut (East Greenlandic language) words and naming when possible.