First fieldwork in Uummannaq
October 23 - November 04, 2014
Written by Juan Baztan
The UVSQ team arrived in Uummannaq (Greenland) for their first fieldwork on October 23, 2014.
Juan Baztan, Jean-Michel Huctin and Mateo Cordier from left to right
How to share in an open web site an intimate experience with a community?
Saying thanks, thanks to the workers in the Children's Home and Uummannaq Polar Institute here in Uummannaq, thanks to the director Ann Andreasen and thanks to the inhabitants that allow us to discover an incredible Inuit community living in a tough but beautiful environment, strongly connected to nature and working to find a balance facing global changes.
In the picture above a general view of the Uummannaq town with around 1200 inhabitants.
The icebergs are drifting in the Bay more and more often in this season, and during the summer time, as a result of the carving off glaciers. Due to their huge seize, they are a potential danger for small local fishing boats when they break into pieces but people know how to minimize risk. Mini-tsunamis happened in the recent past, such as the one in 1995 which destroyed many boats in the harbor.
Part of the team preparing the interviews during a work session. The participation of the local research assistant Pipaluk Hammeken combined with the experience of Jean-Michel Huctin within this community and the skills of Mateo Cordier, economist, and Juan Baztan, environmental scientist, make a strong connection with the people living here.
Awakening in Uummannaq with an incredible light that encourage to go forward with the interviews and focus groups work.
During those days we are doing 18 interviews with the following questions:
Question 1: Looking the image here, and considering the changes on your coastal communities, can you please identify places and activities that are changing.
Question 2a: We have explored together some key places and activities that are changing in your area. Now we would like to explore with you things/actions that are done in order to face those changes. The question is: what is being done right now to adapt to the changes described?
Question 2b: We continue to explore with you things/actions to face those changes.
Related to the activities and places described: What are the Adaptation processes in the past ?
Question 2c: We continue to explore with you things/actions to face those changes.
Related to the activities and places described: What are the Adaptation processes in the future ?
Question 3: We are nearing the end of the interview / almost at the end of the interview. Regarding adaptation, is there anything else you want to add?
In the picture below we can see Pipaluk Hammeken and Elisabeth Grønvold during the interview in October 29th 2014 where we explore the questions, such a great moment !
Our partners in Uummannaq (UPI) during the first fieldwork in October-November 2014 (photo by Bertrand Lozay)