At first glance, the Arctic can make you feel vulnerable.
It’s vast. The communities give new meaning to the definition of isolated. Everyone else seems to belong except you — at least, if you’re an outsider.
And then you find out there’s a Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut outlet at the Northern Store, and the world seems just a little smaller.
At least, those are the first impressions from a weeklong journey to the Nunavut communities of Baker Lake and Rankin Inlet, the former the only inland hamlet in all of the Arctic and the latter a larger regional town on the western shore of Hudson Bay.
In late September, I joined photographer John Woods for the trip to interview Inuit artists for two long features revolving around the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s plans to build an Inuit Art Centre in Winnipeg. [Read the two-part series: Inuit HeArt]
But since it’s estimated that about only one per cent of Canadians ever set foot in the Arctic, we decided to offer at least a small glimpse of what life is like north of the 60th parallel. And, more important, through Woods’ camera lens.
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