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"It Is Windier Nowadays": coastal livelihoods and seascape-making in Qeqertarsuaq, West Greenland

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Coastal fishermen and whalers on the island of Qeqertarsuaq in Disko Bay, west Greenland, have relied on the harvest of marine resources for the continuation of livelihoods across the generations. More recently, however, Qeqertarsuarmiut and other Inuit residents in other parts of the circumpolar North have increasingly been portrayed as somehow more ‘ exposed’ or ‘ vulnerable’ victims located on the frontline of a geographically determined global crisis narrative about climate change, which inadvertently ignores the reality of coastal livelihoods in the Arctic today. Qeqertarsuarmiut often narrate a different story about their experiences with environmental changes, which is instead rooted in their continued familiarity and engagement with non-human agents (such as winds, sea ice and marine mammals) as these are encountered during seasonal harvesting efforts along the coast. So while environmental fluctuations are certainly observed, interactions with a familiar coastal environment, nevertheless, continue to foster a relationship predicated on an enduring patience and concomitant flexibility towards shifting ice conditions, local weather vagaries and the moods of non-human agents rather than risks or vulnerable exposures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAt home on the waves : human habitation of the sea from the mesolithic to today
EditorsTanya King, Gary Robinson
Place of publicationNew York
PublisherBerghahn Books
Publication year2019
ISBN (print)9781789201420
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesEnvironmental anthropology and ethnobiology

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