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In the footsteps of Rockwell Kent


We are pleased to announce Ilisimatusarfik in collaboration with Rochester Institute of Technology (USA) and Binghamton University (USA) has received a research grant from the United States National Science Foundation´s Arctic Social Science Program. The project, entitled Rockwell Kent and Early 1930s Greenland: A Comparative View of Environmental, Social and Cultural Change in Contemporary Greenland, brings together an international research team with two members from Ilisimatusarfik, Jette Rygaard and Axel Jeremiassen, and two from the US, Denis Defibaugh from Rochester Institute of Technology and Susan Vanek from Binghamton University.

The project begins with the work of Rockwell Kent, an American photographer and artist that lived and worked in Greenland in the 1930s. His time in the country will be examined and Kent’s photographs and art will be used as a starting point to discuss changes in Greenland from the 1930s until today. The research team will travel to each of the communities involved in the project, Illorsuit, Uummannaq, Sisimuit and Nuuk, in May and June to publically discuss the project and will use community feedback to further refine the research aims with interviews beginning in the fall.

Children and youth are an essential part of this research; photographic workshops will be held with students in each of the study communities to teach photographic techniques and encourage youth to take their own pictures which will be exhibited in each of the towns and abroad. Combining visual, historical and anthropological methods, the research team will work with communities to gain an understanding of Kent’s time in Greenland as well as changes and continuities in the life of each community from the 1930s until today.

Nikon has kindly sponsored water and shock-resistant cameras for use by students and Polar Field Services will provide lodging, transport, and logistical support in Greenland for the majority of this project.

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