Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tiina Itkonen's Ultima Thule

Finnish photographer Tiina Itkonen's project Ultima Thule examines the Polar Eskimo culture of Northern Greenland. Compiled over a period of almost ten years, this series reveals a microcosmic way of life, one that has been sustained through tradition and custom rather than the cultural values were accustomed to in the West. In her statement, Itkonen discusses the mentality of the Polar Eskimo:

"Here everything happens immaqa agaqu – maybe tomorrow. And again the next day, they say immaqa agaqu. Polar Eskimos in North Greenland live according to the weather and the seasons. If the weather permits, the men set out to hunt, or families may travel to a neighbouring village to visit relatives – even in the middle of the night. Nobody is in any hurry anywhere. There is as much time to do things as they require. There is also time for other people. They visit each other, play cards, mend hunting gear, sew fur clothes, do beadwork, play the organ or just are. And nor is there any need to talk; you can simply be quiet. During the four-month ‘day’, there is really no need to sleep, since you get a lot of sleep during the four-month ‘night’."

All photographs from the series Ultima Thule

All Images © Tiina Itkonen