ICK AMSTERDAM BLOG

An inspiring perspective on the body in revolt
— September 27, 2017

An inspiring perspective on ‘the body in revolt’ in this moving short documentary: Dancing Towards the Light

For Nunavut youth, dancing has become a way to keep suicide at bay. A film by Kitra Cahana and Ed Ou  

Arviat, an Inuit hamlet of about 2,800 located on the western shore of Hudson Bay, faces many of the same challenges as other remote Indigenous communities: poverty, lack of employment, overcrowded housing.

For many young people, the result is a toxic stew of boredom and a feeling that life will never improve.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the country’s national Inuit organization, reports there are more than 1,000 attempted suicide calls each year in Nunavut, which has a population of about 30,000 people.

The suicide rate is 11 times higher than the national average and the majority of these deaths are people under 30, according to Statistics Canada. In 2015, Nunavut’s premier declared a suicide crisis in the territory.

“Suicide is a big problem here in this town,” Andy said. But in recent years, he and like-minded youth have found a way to counter their sadness by channeling their emotional energy into teen dance nights.

Tapping into a world of club-ready sounds available on YouTube, they choreograph complex routines that combine traditional Inuit dancing with moves seen in the latest pop music videos.

“I use my dancing as … a tool for my emotions,” said Andy. “When I dance, I think about other people.”

For Andy and his peers, this artistic expression is a way to heal some psychic wounds.

Source and more information: http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/dancing-towards-the-light-nunavut-youth/

— Article written by ICK Amsterdam

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