Photographer Thomas Kneubuhler and I spent this morning with our friends at Tukisiniarvik School in Akulivik, Nunavik. Now how did we manage to do that and yet be back at our respective desks in Montreal this afternoon?
The magic of technology made our visit possible. We were doing a teleconference. And I must say we had fun -- and hopefully the students we worked with got some ideas and inspiration, too. Teacher Quinn Carter is working with his students and Thomas and me on a project called Quebec Roots, sponsored by the Blue Metropolis Literary Foundation here in Montreal. Tukisiniarvik is one of 10 Quebec schools participating this year.
One of the things I love most about Quinn's students is their sense of humour. When I asked the students whether they were starting to understand how important it is to re-write their work and re-shoot their photographs, a student named Mary called out, "Why?" -- which made us all crack up.
I gave Mary a small assignment -- to go and re-interview a woman in Akulivik who was taken from her home as a child and sent to a residential school. I suggested Mary ask the woman whether she has any mementos (perhaps an old photo, or an old item of clothing or notebook) from that time. I'm thinking that maybe an item like that will help trigger the interview subject's memory. The more work you do on a piece of writing, the better it generally gets. So, Mary, that's the answer to your "Why?"!!
It was a balmy minus 15 in Akulivik today. I have to say that seeing our friends made Thomas and I wish we were back in Nunavik!