Let them see Nunavut through your eyes
Photo contest seeking images of communities across the territory
Sometimes a photo can make you see past the stereotypes.
And that’s important when illustrating what communities in Nunavut actually look like.
“This seems to be something that not only do not many Canadians [know], but even if Google is a bellwether for information, there’s a lot of unknowns of what these places look like,” Mason White said.
White works for the Toronto architectural firm Lateral Office, which is organizing the Arctic Adaptations project for the Venice Architectural Biennale in June 2014.
Arctic Adaptations was developed as a celebration of Nunavut’s 15th anniversary as a territory.
“Are there trees? Do they live in Igloos? All of these naïve questions can be addressed quite bluntly with an image,” White said.
That’s why White and the Lateral Office team are helping to coordinate a public photography competition to complement their Arctic Adaptations exhibit.
For the project, Arctic Adaptations will offer viewers miniature three-dimensional scale models of each Nunavut community and its terrain, with a photo will accompany the mini-town models.
“It will be a peak-a-boo window into the wall, which you’ll have to peak in through these snow-goggle-like slits. And inside that, you’ll see the photograph that was selected for that community,” White said.
But White needs help from Nunavummiut.
White describes the project as a “self portrait.” That’s why he wants people from each community to contribute to the project.
On the Facebook page “Nunavut Community Photography” White, along with organizer Nick Illauq, is asking people from each community to submit their best landscape photo that shows off architecture and buildings.
The Lateral Office will select one winning photo from each community. There is a $100 prize for each community.
There’s also a $250 cash prize for the best overall photo, $175 for the second best, and another $100 for third best.
Overall there is $3,000 worth of cash prizes for the taking.
Members of the Facebook group have been submitting hundreds of photographs since the competition was announced Jan. 26.
But it’s still not over, White said.
No selection has taken place yet. And photographs will still be accepted up to Feb. 28, when the competition closes.
The Arctic Adaptations exhibit will also feature soapstone carvings of famous and not-so-famous buildings in Nunavut made by local artists.