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A documentary about indigenous struggle and resilience told through the eyes of the world’s northernmost hunters.
So far, this project has been a whirlwind and we are completely blown away by the overwhelming support!! Your response is a strong indication that the world needs and wants to hear these underrepresented stories! Our #1 priority was to pay the community, our hosts, and translator for their work and now we can. THANK YOU!!
Moving forward, we NEED your help to pay the Greenlandic musicians who will score the film, afford sound support, and help with our transportation. We would LOVE your help paying these local musicians a fair wage for their part in the documentary.
And, because we are so used to operating on shoestring budgets, we initially planned to pay for our own airfare completely out of our own pockets. Any funds that remain after paying the local musicians will generously help us pay for our airfare!
The use of your money must be transparent. Please let us know if you have any questions at all!
Please help us keep the momentum going!!!
Award-winning filmmaker Ashlei Payne and Ph.D. Researcher and Photographer Talor Stone have joined forces to produce a Tracing Thought Productionsdocumentary about a community in transition. This film will follow the small indigenous hunting community of Siorapaluk as they navigate contemporary challenges to their way of life and push the limits of community adaptation and cultural resilience.
In Siorapaluk, Greenland — the northernmost continually inhabited settlement on Earth — the Polar Inuit (Inughuit) still survive using traditional hunting methods perfected over the last 4,500 years. But this is changing. Today, their way of life is rapidly evolving with the advent of globalization and environmental changes associated with a warming climate.
This story is urgent. Simply put, it must be told now or there won’t be anyone left to tell it. Right now, in northern Greenland, there are less than 100 full-time subsistence hunters left. Those remaining are the very last generation of hunters with a memory of a world before climate change and modern globalization. These cultural practices represent more than just the history and spirit of the Greenlandic people. They’re a symbol of rich and diverse ways of living that are rapidly disappearing in our globalized world. This film will also shine a spotlight on Inuktun — a critically endangered language with fewer than 700 speakers remaining.
If you care about indigenous rights, climate, and environmental issues, or the preservation of an endangered language and culture, then this film is for you! We need YOUR help to bring the story of the Inughuit to the broader public. Pre-production and preliminary research are complete. We’ve secured our invitation into the community, organized ground logistics, and built a translation support team. Your support will fund essential production expenses and provide a fair wage to community members supporting us on location.
THE FISCAL SPONSOR
All donations are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE through our fiscal sponsor The Arctic Arts Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to visually communicating the science of climate change. Check out our Funding Targets and Deliverables to learn more!
HOW WE GIVE BACK
We’re preserving an endangered language at risk of disappearing forever! Fewer than 700 speakers of the critically endangered Inuktun language remain. The production of this film will generate hours of footage documenting the stories, songs, and history of the Inughuit people all spoken in the critically endangered Inuktun language. This language — and the stories it carries — is at risk of disappearing forever, so we thought it would be a tragedy to let these cultural artifacts languish on a hard drive.
That’s why we are excited to collaborate with the Greenland National Museum to create a language archive that ensures these recordings are preserved forever. The creation of this language archive directly benefits our North Greenland host community, the Greenlandic nation as a whole, and serves as a link between a distant indigenous culture and the rest of the globe. It directly contributes to preservation by providing a freely and publicly accessible way for people around the globe to engage with this unique language and learn about the rich and vibrant culture of the northern Greenlanders.
A project like ours has never been done before. This will be the first film ever created in north Greenland where the story is told through the eyes of the indigenous community itself. We are living in the homes of community members to document not only their daily lives but also their own hopes and dreams. Rather than forcing the narrative, we are providing a spotlight for the Inughuit people to tell their own story. It’s their story to tell and we are honored to help make that happen.
All interviews and filming are done with informed consent and represent the true thoughts of the speaker within their authentic context. The themes and narratives developed are fact-checked in an ongoing process by Ph.D. Researcher Talor Stone who specializes in these topics.
Local translators and community members will be paid a fair wage. Our flights’ carbon offsets are factored into our budget, and we make it a high priority to ensure that our presence does not harm the local environment or cultural customs.
WHERE THE HECK IS SIORAPALUK?
Our project has specific and prioritized budget goals that account for each expense and phase of the project. Importantly, we are guided by the fair-wage principle to ensure that the local community members facilitating our project are paid first and paid fairly.
Check back in to see how this graphic progresses as we receive funding! Remember, your donations are 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE through our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor The Arctic Arts Project!
THE CREATIVE TEAM & HOW WE WORK
«Indigenous voices and native minds deserve the stage. I enjoy documenting the working class in hard-to-reach places and capturing how modern times create unforeseen changes to traditional ways of life.»
Ashlei Payne is the director of photography, editor, and primary producer of the documentary film. She is an award-winning filmmaker who specializes in telling indigenous stories unbiasedly through their eyes. From the formidable rainforests of Borneo to the countryside of Kashmir, she lives with her subjects for extensive periods to immerse herself in the lives of her subjects.
In the last five years she has worked with non-profits across the globe such as ARCHIVE Global in Bangladesh, Shangri-La Trek in Nepal, Sakolah Adat Arus Kualan in Borneo, and with CNN Hero nominee, Madè Janur Yasa of Plastic Exchange in Bali, Indonesia.
In the past year alone Ashlei has won six film festivals including; Outstanding Performance Best Director Award New York, Best Documentary film at Los Angeles Film Awards, and Best Documentary at Los Vegas International. Learn more about Ashlei’s production company Tracing Thought.
You can view Ashlei’s 2021 winning film Palm oil’s Vice Grip on Nativesbelow and learn more about her projects on IMDb and on YouTube.
Talor Stone is a photographer and Ph.D. researcher whose work merges visual art with fact-based knowledge about Earth’s vulnerable environments and cultures. Talor is the researcher behind this project and she will also produce the accompanying still photo series. For the last 4 years, Talor has specialized in pioneering academic research on the impacts of globalization and a changing climate on Greenland’s rural communities. She has spent two summers in Greenland immersed in the local culture and landscape working to lay the foundation for this project.
Talor’s photography is represented in galleries in New Orleans, LA and Carmel, CA. She works as an educator with Muench Workshops — the world’s premier photography education organization — and is a contributor to the Arctic Arts Project — an organization dedicated to visually communicating the science of climate change. You can view more of Talor’s work on her website.
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