In the documentary Chasing the white rabbit I am traveling to Siorapaluk to meet the native Greenlandic hunters and to document the Arctic wild where animals and people live on the edge of what is possible. I am also there to make the last photos for my new book Silence of the North.
In the most remote part of Greenland lies one of the world’s northernmost settlements – Siorapaluk. It is located at nearly 80 degrees north, and with fewer than 60 inhabitants, subsisting almost entirely on the animals they hunt, it probably won’t survive many more generations. Survival under these extreme conditions requires a dependable climate, and highly specialized skills that have been passed from one generation to the next over thousands of years.
In this documentary, I will travel to Siorapaluk for a month to experience and document this last bastion of the Inuit, who still hunt by dog sled and sew their own fur clothing from the animals they shoot, still depending on what nature can provide.
I have travelled thousands of kilometres by dog sled in Greenland with the Sirius Patrol, and live a life with great respect and connection to nature. I feel driven to experience this authentic, and in some ways primitive, way of life, and the intensity of existence in this remote community.
It may at first glance seem like a backward society, and it is certainly lacking in modern convenience, but perhaps stillness and wisdom are actually to be found in a more simple life where everyday tasks all have a direct purpose, meaning and consequence.
I do not just want to make a portrait of the hunters and their culture, but rather to delve deeper, and show the sense of calm and purpose of a sled journey, and the contented patience of the hunters as they wait for hours for the seal which can provide the family at home with food, clothing and security.
Since the first people came to Greenland, man has depended entirely on what wild nature can provide. Such a relationship with nature gives a profound insight, respect and reverence for nature, and I want to show this connection between man and nature – and how the balance of this relationship is threatened.
Besides showing a society of Inuit hunters, it is also my mission is to present the magnificent but unforgiving Arctic wild, and the challenges faced by human and animal life. The scarlet painted evening skies, in sharp contrast to the endless white ice desert, provide epic backgrounds to daily life, and the blizzards roar with such force that humans and animals are forced to seek shelter.
I want to tell the story of a culture surviving in and dependent on wild nature, both of which are threatened by the complexities of the modern world and balancing on a knife edge of existence.
Above all, this documentary will be a tribute to a very vulnerable and untamed environment, and perhaps the last generation of a people living in harmony with nature. The aim is to convey the importance of conserving a culture and a natural environment whose very existence is balanced on a knife edge. I hope to conveyed this through enthralling storytelling and exciting footage of people and animals surviving in an extreme environment.
Chasing the white rabbit which will be shown on Danish television in may 2017, and hopefully the international version will be available in more countries late this year. Here you can see the trailer for the International version.