During 2010 I was writer in residence at Upernavik Museum in Greenland, where I began to learn West Greenlandic or Kalaallisut, the language spoken in the region. This evocative language, which has an unparalleled vocabulary for environmental conditions, had been added to UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger the previous year.
The artist’s book How To Say ‘I Love You’ In Greenlandic: An Arctic Alphabet draws parallels between typography and topography, connecting the disappearance of languages and landscapes. But an abecedarium is also a tool for education, and the book aims to bring new voices to this Arctic language.
The book is currently being exhibited in Beyond Words: Artists and Translation at Amelie Gallery in Beijing, and an edition is forthcoming from MIEL editions in 2014.