Camille Michel regularly turned both her gaze and her camera upon the lives of the 1,300 inhabitants of Uummannaq, a city in the Northwest of the territory where lifestyles are becoming increasingly westernized and identity issues are starting to emerge. Home to the heart-shaped mountain from which it takes its name, the city, is one of Greenland’s largest. Before photographing the life and environment of the Uummannaq’s inhabitants – mainly fishermen and hunters – Michel underwent a process of immersion and integration, living amongst them for several months and participating in their daily lives. She bears witness to the contradictions inherent in this type of development and the conflicting desire to exploit the territory and preserve its nature. How best to keep the natural environment intact while developing and gaining independence? Lifestyles and consumption are changing on the island, C. Michel fix them on his photos. 

Some people view climate change syndromes (the intensification of fishing operations, etc.) as a real short-term benefit, without considering that they are the early symptoms of their own longer-term destruction.

How to make two worlds coexist?

‘‘ As fishing practices are becoming more industrial. Sled dogs share the pack ice with cars and scooters. In 2004, there were over 5,000 dogs ; by 2017, this number had reduced to just 500. Mobile phones and social networks are the new big thing !
The landscape is marked by modern infrastructures such as supermarkets, a gas station. All the waste is burned in the open air. Traces of dioxin have been found in the lake. ’’

Camille Michel

Born in 1972, in France Lives and works in Paris (France)

Captivated by the confines of the world and its inhabitants, Camille Michel, who at one time wanted to become a doctor, uses photography and an exploratory-ethnologist approach to decode the metamorphoses and everyday life of Greenland in a type of ‘‘poetic documentary’’. Her interest in the dichotomies between modernity and traditional cultures was awakened in 2012 following her first experience in Lapland among the Sami people.