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Sebastien Tixier | Allanngorpoq

Uummannaq, West Greenland – April 2013 Just like this worker moving boxes with a sledge in front of boats stuck in the sea-ice, Greenland today combines tradition and modernity.
Ilulissat, West Greenland – March 2013 Far from sea-ice life, Ilulissat is a “big” growing town, and its harbor one of the biggest for the fishing industry. Just alongside is one of the biggest icefjords in the world: in the distance, behind the town tanks, icebergs fill the Disko bay.
Hunting camp, 40 km away from Qaanaaq on the sea-ice, North Greenland – April 2013 In contrary the extreme North of the country is very foreign to this “occidental” way of life: at the boundary between sea-ice and open water, hunters cut the meat from the hunted seals, at about 1am.
Qaanaaq, North Greenland – April 2013 In Knud’s house, like in all “traditional” Greenland houses, the walls display one’s life moments. While running water is still absent in many of the northern-most houses, modernity comes in somehow: phone and TV are part of everyday life.
Qaanaaq, North Greenland – April 2013 Qaanaaq’s church in the midnight light. While Inuits were of shaman culture, Danish colonialism brought protestant religion. Nowadays, faith is very present in the culture, and signs of faith are put on display on the walls of each house.
Uummannaq, West Greenland – March 2013 In the back room of the town only cafe, people come to play money games every day at noon.
Uummannaq, West Greenland – March 2013 Cars and even taxis are now part of the urban habits. The « pisiniarfik » (shop where everything can be found) stay open in the evening. Right across the street the bar of the town is soon to open, but the gymnasium still is the favorite place for dating for the young people.
Uummannaq, West Greenland – April 2013 Wooden installations are used to let fish or meat dry. In a lot of northern houses, used-water evacuation does not exist, and toilets wastes are collected by a dedicated service. These are as many new jobs in Greenland quest to financial autonomy.
Ilulissat, West Greenland – April 2013 Biggest towns now have their buildings. Built in the 60ies they allowed Danish government to reduce supplying costs by grouping population. For a lot of Inuit people this symbolizes a civilization shock to which it is hard to adapt.
Qaanaaq area on the sea-ice, North Greenland – April 2013 Seal-hunting in the extreme north requires crossing all the sea-ice from the town to reach open water: about 40 km in a 7-hour journey. Traditional techniques like sledges are mixed with more modern ones - boat and mobile phones.
On the sea-ice, North Greenland – April 2013 After three days spent on the ice in tents, hunters are about to leave. Like Frank, clothing is changing: even though « kamik » (traditional boots) and skin-made pants are still used, more modern fabrics come into play.
Hunting camp, 40 km away from Qaanaaq on the sea-ice, North Greenland – April 2013 A hunting camp is being set under the midnight light: sledges are put side-by-side, covered with animal furs, and covered in shape of a tent. Along with the changes in the society, climate change is also been observed: one had to move away from the initial camping point due to the poor quality of the ice.

In early 2013, I went into a one-month stay in Greenland, sharing life with some of its inhabitants, up to the northernmost settlements. A trip from 67° to 77° parallel on the way up to Qaanaaq, with the aim to highlight the current mutations.

From the very first place, the country undergoes the effects of climate changes, and witnesses deep transformations of its society since the latest decades: the modification of the environment thus operates along with a growing openness to “occidental” lifestyles and consumption habits. The questions that are raised today in Greenland go far beyond its boundaries.

In some incredibly diverse landscapes, supermarkets and mobile phones come into Inuit culture, and skin-made traditional outfits are no longer used but at the very north for dogsledge trips. These strong and fast changes question society and identity, and divide the country’s opinion as seen in the last elections: between the will to follow what seems to be the rail of History, and the feeling to be the people of the ice, melting away all the same.

Allanngorpoq can be translated into “being transformed” from Greenlandic.

SebastienTixier_selfSebastien Tixier (www.sebtix.com) Born in 1980 in a small town in France, I now live and work in Paris, France. In 2007 I start as a self-taught photographer. My photographs of staged scenes are rewarded by the 1st price for European Festival of Nude Photography in 2009, followed up by an exposition in Brussels, Belgium. The new photographs of this body of work are awarded in 2011 and 2013 at the Px3 Price. In parallel, my other works are exhibited in Paris and London from 2010. Allanngorpoq (2013) is my latest work to date.
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