Intimate Clips: Sealskin Sewing, Digital Archives and the Mittimatalik Arnait Miqsuqtuit Collective

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Nancy Wachowich

Abstract

This article reflects upon the interplay of digital, material, and social relations in the context of a small-scale digital archiving project currently being undertaken by a group of women ethnographers, videographers, and sealskin seamstresses in the Canadian Eastern High Arctic Inuit settlement of Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet). I illustrate the documentation work of our Mittimatalik Arnait Miqsuqtuit Collective, situating it in the new media landscapes that have developed in the Canadian Arctic, and draw on case studies to challenge claims that new communications technology has led to the breakdown of social and environmental relationships. Clips from our digitizing work in progress offer insight into the relational ecologies emergent the making of this archive: illustrating how the unique materiality of sealskin and digital archives, the politics of Inuit hunting, the sensibilities of family and friends, and the challenges of broadband connectivity in Arctic settlements shape this initiative. Technology also emerges here as a key agent, enabling new collaborative relationships, political voice, and forms of knowledge production, but also denying others.

Article Details

Section
Peer-Reviewed Articles
Author Biography

Nancy Wachowich, University of Aberdeen

Lecturer in Social Anthropology, University of Aberdeen