Young people as storytellers - societies in their eyes - Jette Rygaard

2:30 PM, samedi 5 oct. 2019 (30 minutes)
They came, They saw, They named, They claimed (Linda Tuhiwai Smith; 1999:80).
Many travelers, visitors, researchers and artists did just that in Greenland in the 1930s, - among them the American artist Rockwell Kent (1882-1971). He lived and travelled widely from 1929 till 1935 in Illorsuit, Uummannaq, Sisimiut and Nuuk. For two full years he lived and worked in Illorsuit and left with two books exclusively about his time there, hundreds of photographs, drawings, engravings and painting. His reports, opinions and memories about people and this little society and the ones he visited (Uummannaq, Sisimiut and Nuuk) have since then - until now - been almost unchallenged (Rygaard & Vanek, 2017).

Based on the project Rockwell Kent and Early 1930’s Greenland: A Comparative View of Environmental, Social Cultural Change in Contemporary Greenland more than twenty workshops with more than eighty young people from 12 to 19 years of age were held in these societies, producing ten thousand photographs and texts about these young people's opinions of their own lives and times.

This paper will thematic analyze their photographs and text - the visual as sociological and ethnographic knowledge: Which things (buildings, school and leisure facilities) in their societies are they proud of? Which stories do their photographs tell us about family and friends? Which dreams and phantasies do their messages reveal? And how are their eyes on their societies as young insiders now opposite to an elderly American man - an outsider - more than eighty years before. The young people were eager photographers as their many pictures reveals and less eager writers, but based on their many pictures we see their familiar practices and places and their routes helps us to ethnographic knowing anno 2018.

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