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© Maryse Boyce


Vinnie Karetak + Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory

Reclaiming Space

Signifying light in Inuktitut, “qaumma” echoes the fire that Inuit women keep burning to protect their family. Co-written by the prodigious Inuk artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, who handles the direction, and her collaborator Vinnie Karetak, an iconic actor from Nunavut, this sculptural and performative work tackles the forced displacements that shaped the lives of their ancestors and their collective memory. It’s a radiant and poetic act of revolt.

Williamson Bathory grounds her creative work in the practice of uaajeerneq, the traditional Greenland mask dance passed on to her by her mother. Feminist and decolonial, this tradition plays with and addresses the audience. In front of a stunning iceberg evoking the generosity and intransigence of nature, the powerful performers tell how Inuit families find light despite social fragmentation, reclaiming and shaping their own space—marred by centuries of colonization—with the help of their language, their guts, their culture.

General info

About the artist

© 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
© Jamie Griffiths

Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory (Iqaluit)

Of Greenlandic descent, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory was born in Saskatoon. She has lived in Iqaluit since 2005. 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

« Williamson Bathory et Karetak racontent l’histoire des déplacements forcés de leurs ancêtres d’Iqaluit, déployant ainsi la beauté du Nunavut tout en passant par la violence et la noirceur imposées par les colonisateurs et colonisatrices. »

Alexis Legendre, JEU, 2022-06-06

« Qaumma célèbre cette volonté de briller et de vivre. […] Une performance cathartique. »

Ka Chagnon, Spirale, 2022-06-08

« Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory transforme de façon provocante le cadre de référence de l’art contemporain. »

Maud Cucchi, CBC, 2021-11-07


“In order to reclaim space as Inuit living in our homeland, we must simply be feminist, not through Western or White feminism but through our own understanding of how to return power to women, to femininity, to the non-binary, to queer ways of living in the world.”

Read the interview