scott.w.young's picture
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies

This article expands the discussion of Inuit broadcasting in northern Canada to encompass actual texts, about which little has been written. Specifically, I focus on Nunavut, a 13-part television series produced in 1994-5 by Igloolik Isuma Productions. Nunavut is considered the first dramatic series to be created entirely by Inuit. While drawing upon Ginsburg’s emphasis on the significance of ‘embedded aesthetics’ to indigenous media producers, I argue that Nunavut’s visual and narrative forms are essential to its cultural and political goals of sustaining and reviving Inuit culture, and, therefore, that any exploration of the series must not separate form from intention. I also build on John Hartley’s arguments for conceptualizing television as a teacher of cultural citizenship. Inuit media productions not only teach Inuit about their culture, but how to practice it. In this sense, Inuit media has been a significant source in mobilizing cultural citizenship. Nunavut’s aesthetic and narrative choices, which attempt to link past and present Inuit identity and forge a political future that encompasses indigenous identity, exemplify {TV’s} ‘love of influence’ {(Hartley,} 1999: 43).