Beautiful pictures and a mindful film from an expedition to North Greenland

By greenland today 
03 MAR 2013
The Avannaa Boat Expedition undertaken during the summer 2012, was seeking to endeavour cultural exchanges between different settlements in parts of the large Greenland coast.
The expedition was conducted by the The Uummannaq Polar Institute (UPI) and Uummannaq Children’s Home, with employees of the Children’s Home and further, the children are involved in the presentation and documentation from the expedition such as playing background music to the documentary.
Albert Lukassen was captain on one of the boats going up the west coast of Greenland attempting to reach as far north as possible in small open boats.  Albert is an experienced hunter, navigator and a distinguished elder in Uummannaq. Accompanying Albert was his wife, Else T. Lukassen, who is also photographer.
The skills and endeavours of Albert Lukassen, and the remaining crew, were documented by Bertrand Lozay, documentary filmmaker.
The expedition was organized by the Uummannaq Children’s Home, which gives young people from troubled families a new start in life. Between 30-34 children live in the home, whose director is Ann Andreasen, Annette Dyrby serves as assistant director. Inunnguaq Zeep (right) is one of the young people from the home who is on the expedition.
Inunnguaq ably assists in all the necessary duties of the expedition, keeping track of the equipment and the boats.  Along with Albert (left), French filmmaker Bertrand Lozay (yellow jacket) and Ole Jorgen Hammeken bring a boat ashore.
Stops made in remote communities along the coast foster a cultural exchange, such as in the settlement of Qeqqertat.
In Qeqqertat kayaks are alongside barrels of fuel; fish are drying on the hill behind.
As the group heads north, more icebergs appear. The scenery provides a great backdrop for the voyagers.
Icebergs and mountains devoid of vegetation at this northern latitude provide scenes of epic grandeur.
The settlements get smaller as the team heads farther north. Here they approach Moriusaq.


Finally the village of Qaanaaq comes into view, right at the edge of the great icecap that covers most of Greenland (above).
Qaanaaq is the largest town in northwestern Greenland, and has grown in recent years with an increasing number of visitors including filmmakers and tourists during the summer months.  This provides an opportunity to rest and meet local people while preparing the next leg of the journey.
Soon the team proceeds north and makes it as far as one of the northernmost settlements in the world, Siorapaluk.
Avannaa-17 Avannaa-16
The goal is to push on as far as possible, and they make it one more day beyond Siorapaluk.
In the end, bad weather causing very heavy forces the group to halt their movement north. This is as far as they will get, at least for this expedition.
The trip was a big experience for Inunnguaq, who later talked of how much the expedition meant for him.  And for the hunters it was a great opportunity to meet and greet their northern neighbors and friends again.
The movie
See movie <here>
Seals and narwhales between Savissivik and Kullorsuaq in North Greenland. Accompanied by the children of Uummannaq in a music workshop led by Julie Pinoteau and Jonna Faeroe, recorded by Bertrand Lozay.
If you have 10 minutes to enjoy the movie, and let peace fall upon you. Note that it is shot with a handheld camera from one of the two small boats, and is not a BBC production made on a large ship. But a lovely intense nature experience, with beautiful tones from the kids.
Editorial comment
greenland today is a 100% independent media, independent of any kind of support or special interests. But we have a soft spot for children. So we admit that we write a lot about anything related to the improvement of children’s conditions.
We think it’s fantastic that you can help children with problems by taking them on trips, and by giving them confidence and care, help them on their way. But that’s another story.
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