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© Vinnie Karetak
Performance

Qaumma

Vinnie Karetak + Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory

Iceberg of Light

The prodigious Inuk artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory grounds her creative work in the practice of uaajeerneq, the traditional Greenland mask dance passed on to her by her mother. Irreverent and decolonial, this tradition mingles explorations of sexuality, laughter, and dread. In this first draft of Qaumma, co-authored with Vinnie Karetak, the artists from Iqaluit address the forced displacements that uprooted their ancestors and colour their collective memory.

The spectators are gathered around an iceberg evoking the beauty of Nunavut, where people interact with a natural environment that is generous and nurturing in its coldness. Signifying light in Inuktitut, “qaumma” echoes the fire that Inuit women keep burning to protect their family. In their sculptural theatre, the artists recount how Inuit families find light despite social fragmentation, sculpting their own space—marred by centuries of colonization—with the help of their language, their guts, their culture.

Credits
General info

About the artists

© Jamie Griffiths

Vinnie Karetak (Iqaluit)

Vinnie Karetak is a cultural icon in Inuit Nunangat. His face is instantly recognized by Inuit young and old for his work in comedy, journalism, performing arts, theatre and film. 

Full biography
©

Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory (Iqaluit)

Of Greenlandic descent, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory was born in Saskatoon. She has lived in Iqaluit since 2004. The need to uphold the founding stories of her culture against the ravages of colonialism is intrinsic to her artistic practice, which she has continuously diversified and transformed for over thirty years.

Full biography

Media Coverage

“Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory provocatively transforms the framework of references for contemporary art. Williamson Bathory’s performance practice courageously defies preconceived notions through embodied lived experience. Her works invite us to share in a world abundant with possibility infused with the interconnections of land, family, community, and cultural knowledge.”

 

 

 

Sasha Suda member of Sobey Prize jury
CBC, 2021-11-06

IKUMAGIALIIT is a roller coaster of beautiful highs and foreboding lows, but in the hand of this multi-faceted cast, it’s a wild ride that has a firm hold on the story it tells.”

Isabella Perrone, Broadway World, 2019-12-16, à propos de IKUMAGIALIIT / about IKUMAGIALIIT

Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools […] is an uncomfortable, unsettling, powerful, raw and absolutely beautiful piece of theatre. […] Everything about the show is brilliant and powerful.”

Jennifer Hartley, Ottawa Life Magazine, 2020-01-24, à propos de Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools

“Breaking the boundary of “play-space” and audience, Bathory enters into the audience performing a pseudo-traditional Greenlandic mask dance. Painting fer face black witch red creases and stuffing small balls into either cheek to contort her face movements become finely tuned like a panther stalking its prey.”

Sarah Haly, The New Ottawa Critics, 2020-01-30, à propos de Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools

Interview

“We continue to exist as Inuit despite the fact that the colonial institutions that we are surrounded by in every direction are continually taking our humanity away, on a continuous basis.”

Read the interview