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

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Abstract

This article reflects upon the interplay of the digital, material and social in the context of 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 skills 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 hunting, and the sensibilities of family, neighbours, and friends become part of this initiative. Yet the challenges of providing broadband connectivity to Arctic settlements also becomes a factor. Technology emerges here as a key agent in this initiative, enabling new collaborative relationships, political voice, and forms of knowledge production, but also denying others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-99
Number of pages25
JournalMuseum Anthropology Review
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2018

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Keywords

  • digital media
  • collaborative methods
  • digital anthropology
  • digital archives
  • indigenous media
  • material culture
  • visual anthropology

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