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Virginie Terrasse | Masakut. The Present in Kalaalisut

Greenland is an autonomous province of Denmark, still awaiting full autonomy. This island of 57 000 inhabitant has for years attracted the attention of the world. Whether it be scientists studying global warming, sociologists trying to understand why the country has the world’s highest suicide rate, or Chinese, Russians, French and American oil companies looking to exploit the country’s riches – 25% of the world’s oil resources.

This photo documentary is trying to portray a land in full transformation through the everyday life of Greenland’s teenagers. Just as they (teenagers) change psychologically and physically, Greenland’s landscape and society is growing as well. Today’s Inuit people are divided between modernity and tradition, and have to face important decisions before becoming adults and independent.

This series’ title, Masakut, means the present in Kalaalisut Greenland’s Inuit Language. The present, because today, no one can predict what Greenland’s will look like when Independence’s time comes, when global warming amplifies and Greenland’s earthly riches become more apparent.

In a few years, these pictures’ teenagers will most likely live an adult life, in a young independent country, which besides having to protect itself against Western countries’ greed, will have to reinvent a strong Inuit society in order to maintain it’s identity, in an ever growing globalized planet.

(These photographs are from a first trip taken in October and November 2012. This is a work in progress. Masakut is an extract part of the webdocumentary Whitheland that I make whith Jérémie Jung.)

Q&A with Virginie Terrasse

Photography is…

To show the world’s memory.

Photography and writing…

Is to mix it with another color to see his work in a new way.

Who left the biggest impression on you?

Barbara & Michael Leisgen – Mimesis. This is a work that I just discovered there are two days, and there is any poetry, simplicity, and it is for everyone, it seems almost like a childish game, the approach is direct without effect.

Tell us a little about yourself

My photographic practice is paysagite-documentary style. I’m specialized in any region of the world, or on any theme but all my series dealing with the question of territory. Whether through the confinement of populations, erasing the history and physical and mental colonization.

PRIVATE _autoportraitVirgine Terrasse (www.virginieterrasse.com), born in 1976, lives in Paris. Self-educated, she becomes freelance photographer in 2002. Her personal work document the relation between human being and its environment, culture and its origins. Through photography she wants to witness for what is not seen anymore. In parallel with her photographic work she leads workshops and trainings in photography, photographic film (multimedia) and web-documentary. She’s also cofounder of the Parisian Studio Hans Lucas.
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