The project Foodland Security is based on an original art project that I have been exploring over the past couple of years. Not only is the name a play on words (the land, food, and security) but it’s about my knowledge and experiences of Inuit country food in an urban context. Through my art I wanted to raise awareness of this issue. This issue is relatively new and unexplored, so I had the opportunity to highlight it. The images used in this project are original pieces of art by me, the photographer.
Inuit move to urban centres for many reasons: to find jobs, education, and medical services; to join family and friends; or to escape severe weather conditions or abusive situations. Country food is intertwined with the Inuit culture. This food comes from animals and plants that people hunt, fish, or gather. These traditional foods include caribou, seal, whale, fish, birds, and berries. Food preparation includes the skinning and butchering of animals, cleaning of plants, and further preparation for eating such as boiling, drying, and other techniques. Once in urban centres, Inuit experience a great shift in diet from traditional or country food to store-bought, processed foods. My plan in setting out to do this project was—first and foremost—an art project as I strive to bring awareness and justice to what I call Contemporary Urban Inuit Photography. But as the project progressed, it at times seemed to take on a life of its own.