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Climate change from the perspective of youth in Old Crow, YT and Inuvik, NWT
What does climate change look like in Canadaâ€™s Arctic Circle? Most Canadians, and even most northerners, never get the chance to find out. This Is Our Arctic invites you to discoverÂ what climate change in the Arctic looks like through the eyes of local youth.
Thanks to funding from The Small Change Fund and Environment Yukon, BYTE travelled to the Arctic communities of Old Crow and Inuvik in early October 2013 and in January 2015 to connect with local youth. In each community, we ran a three-day workshop on climate change and photography. After spending time chatting about climate change and photocomposition, we handed cameras to the youth and asked them to take photos of climate change in their communities. In January 2015, we ran video-making and interviewing workshops with Old Crow youth so that they could ask older members of their community how the land has changed over the years and capture their conversations on film.
The results are beautiful, compelling, and sometimes humorous, and make up a new multimediaÂ exhibition that weâ€™ve titled This is Our Arctic: Climate change from the perspective of youth in Old Crow, YT and Inuvik, NWT.Â The photos in the exhibit were taken almost exclusively by Old Crow and Inuvik youth, and provide windows into their communities and Arctic youthâ€™s perspectives on climate change.
From January 10Â – February 5, 2014, we displayed the photography exhibit at the Yukon Electrical Youth Gallery in the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse. In mid-February, we sent the photographs to Inuvik to be part of the townâ€™s first-ever Arctic Image Festival, which took place from February 28 â€“ March 2, 2014. One of the youth photographers who participated in our workshop, Alexa Kuptana, entered a photo she took with us into the Arctic Image Festivalâ€™s Youth Division contest and won first place. You can read all about the Arctic Image Festival and Alexaâ€™s submission here.
On April 26, 2014,Â This Is Our ArcticÂ debuted down south at the ArtStarts in Schools Gallery in downtown Vancouver. ArtStarts was the first gallery dedicated to young peopleâ€™s work in Canada and This Is Our ArcticÂ was on display thereÂ until August 31, 2014. Read all about the exhibit launch here.
At the beginning of October 2014, the exhibit headed from downtown Vancouver over to Coquitlam, BC, where the city’s two library branches housedÂ a the exhibit. The Old Crow photographs wereÂ on display at the Poirier Branch, and the photographs of Inuvik wereÂ on display at the City Centre Branch . Â Find out more about theÂ Coquitlam displays here.
BYTE also attended the Â Youth Centres Conference of CanadaÂ in Ottawa at the end of March 2015 to display the photographs and the new video.Â We shared the video made by the youth in Old Crow with an audience of youth and youth workers from all overÂ the country.
Now the exhibit is on display at theÂ Toronto Museum of Inuit Art, where it will be on display starting in November 2015. This is the first time the video has been featured in the exhibit, so if you happen to be in Toronto in the coming months, don’t forget to stop by!
Check out a virtual version of This Is Our Arctic below. If youÂ know of any other gallery spaces around Canada that might be interested in housing this exhibit, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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