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26 NOVEMBER 2014

Never Alone: Could a Video Game Help to Preserve Inuit Culture?

"'Kunuuksaayuka,' an Iñupiaq tale that was recounted by the late Iñupiaq storyteller Robert Nasruk Cleveland. In its traditional incarnation, the tale recounts the adventures of a boy – the product of a nomadic society – who goes on a quest to save his community from an apocalyptic blizzard. After securing the consent of Cleveland’s daughter, Minnie Aliitchask Gray, the development team in conjunction with representatives from the Iñupiat community reworked the story until they settled on a script that would become the basis for 'Never Alone.' (The game’s Iñupiaq sub-title, 'Kisima Ingitchuna,' translates to 'I am Not Alone.')".

(Simon Parkin, 17 November 2014, The New Yorker)

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TAGS

2014adventure gameAlaskaAlaska Native peoplearctic circle • arctic fox • atmospheric presence • aurora borealis • backstory • Black River People • blizzard • call on spirits • coldcompanion charactercontemporary interpretation • Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) • cultural heritage • cultural insights • cultural myths • cultural traditions • cultural translation • digital storytelling • E-Line Media • endless blizzard • engaged learning • environment as antagonistfemale protagonist • folkloric fantasy characters • folktale • foxindie gamesIndigenous peopleinteractive playInuit • Inupiaq • Kisima Ingitchuna (video game) • Kunuuksaayuka • magical bola • Minnie Gray • native tribes • Never Alone (video game) • nomadic cultures • nomadic people • Nuna (character) • oral traditionpuzzle platformer • Robert Nasruk Cleveland • Sean Vesce • spiritsSteamsurvival storyThe New Yorker • traditional art • treacherous landscape • Upper One Games • video gamevideo games and Indigenous peoplewind

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 DECEMBER 2008

Robert J. Flaherty: How I Filmed Nanook of the North

"New forms of travel film were coming out and the Johnson South Sea Island film particularly seemed to me to be an earnest of what might be done in the North. I began to believe that a good film depicting the Eskimo and his fight for existence in the dramatically barren North might be well worth while. To make a long story short, I decided to go north again– this time wholly for the purpose of making films."
(Robert J. Flaherty, 1922)

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1922Alaska Native peopleconstructed realitydiscoverydocu-dramadocumentary filmenvironment • Eskimo • ethnographic filmfilmfilm-maker • igloo • IndigenousInuit • Nanook of the North • naturepioneer • Robert J. Flaherty • spectacle • travel film • truth

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 NOVEMBER 2008

Cultural uses of media technology by Inuit artists

"Isuma's films and videos are always based on oral history of the community elders. In the case of The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, the film's storyline is based on the events recounted in Rasmussen's writings, but as the film's co–director Norman Cohn asserts, 'Those events are interpreted through an Inuit point of view ... Like looking at your reflection in the window and seeing through to the other side of the window pane'(Norman Cohn, Secretary–Treasurer, Igloolik Isuma Productions, Montreal, personal communication, October 31, 2004).

Stephen Muecke, Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Technology in Sydney, has written a great deal about how the form of discourse shapes our understanding of Aboriginal history: 'The main problem for Aboriginal History, as I see it, is to authenticate the appropriate discourse for its transmission. At the moment the 'authentic' accounts of Aboriginal history are firmly locked in academic standard English' (1983). Isuma's unique style of docu–drama counters this privileging of the written word penned by Europeans as the 'authentic,' 'true' historical record.

The films do this by appropriating communication tools to transmit an audiovisual form of Inuit oral history and storytelling to a hybrid audience: Isuma's primary goal is to delight other Inuit, and its secondary goal is to connect with a global media audience. Indeed, Cohn argues that '[Inuit] storytelling as an oral form is most compatible in contemporary form with film–making or theatre' (quoted in Wachowich, 1997a)."

(Katarina Soukup)

‘Travelling in Layers: Inuit Artists Appropriate New Technologies’ in the Canadian Journal of Communications, Vol. 31, No. 1 (2006). pp 239–246.)

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Aboriginal • Aboriginal history • authenticitycultural codesdocu-dramadramafilmfilm-makinghistorical record • Igloolik Isuma Productions • Indigenous • Indigenous perspectives • Inuit • Inuit oral history • Katarina Soukup • mediaMontreal • Nancy Wachowich • narrative • Norman Cohn • oral historysocial constructionism • Stephen Muecke • storytelling • The Journals of Knud Rasmussen (2006) • theatretraditiontruth

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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