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Erik Gant

Eskimo Images

"Eskimo Images" is a Ph.D. project that proposes to examine the ways in which the Eskimo have been portrayed in the photographic and electronic media, i.e. in photographs, film and television, in the light of post-colonial theory and in particular inspired by the critiques of Orientalism, Africanism and ethnography advanced by Edward Said, V.Y. Mudimbe and James Clifford, respectively. Emphasis will be put on filmic portrayals of the Eskimo, which I will place in the framework of Western conceptions of the Eskimo on the whole as they have developed and spread since the 19th century and up until today in scholarly, popular, fictive and factual discourses. I regard the photographic/filmic images as concretizations and illustrations and as effective communicators of what the Eskimo are according to the discourses on them.

In other words, this project aims to study

Eskimo traits - determinations of the Eskimo as regards knowledge, art, religion, mentality, etc.- as discursive traits, to determine the role of concrete images in this respect, and furthermore to study the different opportunities we have as Greenlanders to re-place - recreate and reappropriate for ourselves - (knowledge about) the Eskimo.


Updated 23 November 2000 by csc. Please mail comments to the web editor at Centre for Cultural Research.