Critical Writing Index

Structuring Knowledges: Caching Inuit Architecture Through Igloolik Isuma Productions

by Erin Morton

Post Script - Essays in Film and the Humanities, Summer 2010, v. 29, no. 3, pp. 58-69

Morton and Sirove discuss the ways in which Igloolik Isuma Productions' media practices work to cache Inuit architectural knowledge. To do so they consider a homeless Inuk's interaction with the Montréal cityscape in the documentary "Urban Inuk" ("Qallunajatut"), set against Isuma's portrayal of community interaction with Inuit architecture in two of Isuma's earlier tapes, "Stone House" ("Qarmaq"), which is episode 3 from the "Nunavut"/"Our Land" series, and "Gathering Place" ("Qaggiq"). The authors consider the role the built environment plays in Isuma's video and film productions, productions that they argue function as indigenous memory caches for cultural preservation. They interpret Isuma's general working methods to reference the practice of Inuit elders using food and supply caches on the land for storing valuables when they are abundant until times of scarcity necessitate their retrieval. The architectural structure, Morton and Sirove stress, functions as an ongoing sign in a broader communicative system of living archive for the Isuma filmmakers in particular and the community of Igloolik as a whole.

ITEM 2010.118 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Urban Inuk - QuallunajatutJayson Kunuk