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Aqqaluk Lynge’s poetic work - Marianne Stenbaek

10:00 AM, Friday 4 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)

Greenland is ground zero for climate change but it has also been a center for change in an indigenous society … from a hunting culture to a sophisticated Scandinavian style society but still with much of its traditional Inuit culture intact.Huge changes took place in Greenland in the 60s and 70s but young Greenlanders who were studying in Copenhagen responded by organising and giving birth to a new poetic and artistic movement as well as a political one. Aqqaluk Lynge was one of those students; his poetry and speeches were a fight to win back their self-respect and identity which many felt the Danes had taken in the colonial times.This artistic outpouring became the basis for an increasing political consciousness which changed Greenland and continues to do so. Through international outreach, this artistic and poetic revolution has also influenced other indigenous peoples in the world. Lynge’s poetry upholds traditional Inuit values and culture and denigrates the Danish colonialists who often act as if all of Greenland is theirs to reign over.The collection of his poems, entitled: Taqqat uummammut aqqutaannut takorluukkat apuuffiannut,there arepoems with titles such as They took part of ourselvesand God save Denmark and Greenland… separately.These poems speak to the impact of colonialism and though they are Greenland-centric; the conditions they describe may be seen as universal and applicable to all colonised people.

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