Online with Zacharias Kukuk
As a companion piece to film One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk, Zacharias Kunuk and Maia Iotzova discuss On the Land with Noah Piugattuk: a digital story map that uses audio, images, and maps to visualize the seismic shift Inuit experienced in the 20th century.
Founded by Zacharias Kunuk, Kingulliit Productions is an Inuit-owned multimedia production company based in Igloolik, Nunavut. Kingulliit continues Isuma’s tradition of producing independent Inuktitut-language works, recognizing the importance of new media and innovative technology.
On the Land with Noah Piugattuk is a story map created by the Isuma Collective to give viewers a new experience related to the film, One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk, which premiered at the Canadian Pavilion in the Venice Biennale in 2019. This web experience of Canada’s Arctic is designed around the fact that there is no fast speed internet in Canada’s north. The project uses audio, images and a map to show us the powerful shift that happened for Inuit in the 20th century going from the stone age to the digital age – forever changing their lives. We follow the story of Inuit elder, Noah Piugattuk, whose life spanned almost a full century. In the early 1900s when Noah Piugattuk was young, Inuit lived a hunting lifestyle on the land that had been feeding them for millennia. With colonization and the arrival of white Southern culture, their lives and use of the land changed dramatically – On the Land with Noah Piugattuk portrays this seismic shift. Noah Piugattuk and his group were forced to resettle from the land to the town of Igloolik in the early 1960s.
Born in 1957 in a sod house on Baffin Island, Zacharias Kunuk was a carver in 1981 when he sold three sculptures in Montreal to buy a home-video camera and 27” TV to bring back to Igloolik, Nunavut, a community which had voted twice to refuse access to outside television due to lack of Inuktitut programming. Kunuk co-founded Igloolik Isuma Productions Inc. in 1990 with Paul Apak Angilirq, Pauloosie Qulitalik and Norman Cohn. In addition to the 2001 feature Atanarjuat The Fast Runner, Kunuk has directed more than 30 documentaries and feature films including The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change, Maliglutit (Searchers), and the 7-part documentary series Hunting With My Ancestors. He was also executive producer on SG aaway K ’uuna (Edge of The Knife), the world’s first Haida-language feature film which premiered at TIFF last year. In 2019, Kunuk, Cohn, and the Isuma collective were chosen to represent Canada at the 58th Biennale di Venezia with One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk as its main video installation along with a new live documentary series called Silakut: Live from the Floe Edge which can be viewed and streamed at www.isuma.tv/live.
Zacharias Kunuk was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2015 and an Officer of the Order of Nunavut in 2019.
Maia Iotzova is a visual artist and a filmmaker, whose work explores our intimate connections in a world fragmented by social and political forces. She has developed a cinematic style that draws on her intercultural perspective and mixes visual art, traditional documentary and experimental cinema techniques. Her first documentary Grass Through Concrete – The Struggle to Protect the Red Hill Valley (72min, 2004) screened widely in Canada. Her second film Green Dream (50 min, 2015) opened the Sofia Biting Docs Film Festival in Bulgaria, and was awarded Best Feature Film at the 6th International Eco Fest, Romania, 2016.
Originally from Bulgaria, she has been working with the Isuma Collective since 2015, where she brings her own intercultural experience to her work with Inuit. She was also a co-host at the radio show of the feminist new media centre Studio XX for 5 years, and is the co-founder of the Montreal Film Fatales Affiliated group.
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