Channel 51: Igloolik – Celebrating 30 Years of Inuit Video Art

June 1 - August 30, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday 31 May, 6–10pm

Curated by Asinnajaq and Stephen Puskas

Esker Foundation is pleased to present selected films from the first large-scale tour of Igloolik Inuit video art from the Isuma and Arnait Women’s Video collective, a collection of over 40 works (short films, documentaries, and feature films) from 1987 to today. It is the product of a 30-year filmmaking practice rooted in Inuit values of consensus, working together, service to the community, and cultural authenticity. It is also a non-hierarchical collaborative artistic vision developed by eight celebrated video artists (six Inuit and two non-Inuit): Zacharias Kunuk, Paul Apak Angilirq, Pauloosie Qulitalik, Madeline Ivalu, Susan Avingaq, Mary Kunuk, Norman Cohn, and Marie- Hélène Cousineau.

This collection highlights the unique power of Inuit filmmaking: an approach that challenges individualistic notions of the “artist,” and centers itself in an ethical obligation to serve Inuit first through thoughtful self-representation. Beyond the immediate social effects of cultural production and cooperation, the work of Isuma and Arnait is also a model for how non-Indigenous artists can contribute to decolonial artistic practice.

“Our name Isuma means ‘to think,’ as in Thinking Productions. Young and old work together to keep our ancestors’ knowledge alive. We create traditional artifacts, digital multimedia, and desperately needed jobs in the same activity. Our productions give an artist’s view for all to see where we came from: what Inuit were able to do then and what we are able to do now.” — Zacharias Kunuk

A project of Isuma in partnership with Vtape.

  • Zacharias Kunuk

  • Paul Apak Angilirq

  • Pauloosie Qulitalik

  • Madeline Ivalu

  • Susan Avingaq

  • Mary Kunuk

  • Norman Cohn

  • Marie-Hélène Cousineau

  • Asinnajaq

  • Stephan Puskas