Tell your own story.
A small break in the clouds…
A tiny break to let the sunshine in…
An ounce of light to remember what it’s like to be human...curious...uncertain...open.
It’s been one week (seven days) since I arrived in Greenland. A land known more known for its ice than its people, a land seen in relationship to other nations like Iceland - or Denmark, a nation rarely seen as defined by its own self-expressed identity. I thought I’d be doing a documentary on a Black woman from Texas living in the Arctic, but who better to be the bridge to facilitate the illumination of a story like so many other nations across the globe.
Greenland is primarily a land covered in ice - fact. Greenland is home to the Inuit, whose nation extends to Alaska, Canada and some parts of Russia. Most of Greenland’s inhabitants live along the coastal waters, fjords - and the further north you go, the more snow you get. Like all nations, Greenland has undergone the move from primarily hunters to fishermen, and now modern day professionals just the same as the rest of the world, including dancers, dance teachers, visual artists, actresses, actors and directors too.
Greenland was formerly colonized by Denmark, however its current civil system is self rule with both Danish and Kalaallisut (Greenlandic Inuit) are official languages. I had no idea Greenland was a former colony of Denmark, and in my conversations and research the effects of colonization has become a recurring theme relating to perception and storytelling that not only as an artist, but also as a Black woman from the American South, I can definitely relate to.
To put it bluntly, being misunderstood sucks. It’s why people opt out of relationships, and family feuds turn into a full exodus from the family. It’s why we often hide the best parts of who we are in order to fit in, to be accepted, and simply be seen as human. There’s so much to uncover, share and unpack. There’s so much to reflect upon and process.
However what I am discovering as an artist, documentarian and human is that owning, expressing and sharing one’s story is an act of reclamation. It is a statement to correct misrepresentations. It’s a process of threading together fragmented pieces of an identity. It’s a full frontal approach to witnessing and standing in the fullness of who you are, as expressed in this body - for yourself, for those connected to you, and for the future of our humanity. Perhaps, if we tell our own stories, maybe we can evolve our shared human story from one of conquest and exploitation, to freedom of expression and unconditional love.