Tuk time (en cours)

“Tuk time – Making (in)visible” is a collaborative project pursued by Roxane Gabet & Teo Becher. It is composed of a series of photographs taken by Teo Becher, when we spent three weeks in Tuktoyaktuk (Canada), an Inuvialuit hamlet on the shores of the Arctic ocean.

While editing and shaping the project, we became more and more uncomfortable as we were questioning what made these images possible in the very first place, intersecting personal stories and centuries of settler colonialism. And conversely : what do these images make possible ? What worlds are they producing ? Whether they sparked a sense of discomfort in us, teaching us how to “stay with the trouble” (Haraway), it is also because they are situated (sometimes in contradictory ways) in powerful narratives about the ''North''. The parallel histories of anthropology and photography come together in these narratives, in particular in their project to “salvage” Indigenous peoples, implying their supposed disappearance. We have to learn the art of consequences of these politics of representation, since they have very concrete effects on human and non human lives. Thus in this project, we seek to challenge the (settler) visual expectations about the “North” by playing along the lines of the (in)visible, particularly through “troubled” or “failed” photographs. Ethical and formal issues arise : what is shown? What is not shown? And who gets to show it?

But then, some questions still remain : what do Inuvialuit people do with the land they inhabit? How do they visually translate this relationship? What could be (or not) the connections between these images and ours? We would return to Tuktoyaktuk in a couple of months to propose participatory photographic workshops with Inuvialuit youth, besides proposing to open our photographs to transformation and in conversation. We suggest then to follow the threads that connect relations between places, (photographic) technologies, human and non-human kins. In this process, considering the active erasure of Indigenous peoples in what is currently called Canada, as well as their erasure of their relationship to land as a prerequisite to the settler colonial project, we try to interrogate how photography, as an act of making (in)visible, can respond to this erasure.