This week, as we juggle other events associated with Greenland Science Week, Alice, Hans, and I have been trying to pull together some sort of summary of last week's work. We are also thinking ahead, armed with new knowledge on culture and community heritage, to dream about what comes next.
As mentioned a few times, last week the three of us hosted 3D heritage workshops, while conducting interviews, giving presentations, and holding conversations with community members in Sisimiut and Sarfannguit. While Hans has been working in Greenland for many years, Alice and I are new here. We came wanting to share our ideas about community science, digital heritage, and international learning, but we also came wanting to learn from Greenlanders. These workshops, presentations, and conversations allowed us to gain insight into the kinds of projects possible going forward, as we discussed expanding this international collaboration and working with the community in the future. Back in Nuuk, Alice and I have both admitted our heads were spinning with thoughts and ideas. We're not quite sure what's next. We are in the process of putting together some sort of collection of images, scans, videos, and stories from last week to craft a narrative that somehow ties it all together. This will be great to share with you all, as well as those that funded our time in Sisimiut and Sarfannguit (primarily the United States Consulate for that part of the trip). We have been working on this today and are not yet done, but I wanted to share a few of the 3D scans that came out of the community collaborations. Some of these were completed by members of the Sisimiut/Sarfannguit community, the outcome of their experience learning the technology. While the production of scans is not necessarily the final outcome of a digital heritage project, they are still pretty cool by themselves! They give you a great look at some of the artifacts that were brought up during the Narsannguaq excavation this past summer, the collection that filled Sisimiut Museum with so many well-preserved artifacts. As you can see, the artifacts represent both communities living in Sisimiut historically, Inuit and European. Having 3D scans of these objects will allow the museum to share them with others in Greenland as well as the international community. Tonight, I wanted to share a few with you, as well as ask you to consider how this digital technology can be used to share a history unknown to many outside this Arctic city. How can digital technology be used to share the stories of Greenland's past? How can it be used to preserve that past for future generations to experience? How might it be used in excavations where so many artifacts are uncovered that it overwhelms a local museum, who is suddenly challenged with the study, curation, and preservation of so many vulnerable artifacts? The technology is cool...but its what we do with the technology that makes it impactful!
I am an anthropology professor, writer, researcher and global traveler. This fall, I will be recording a research trip to Greenland as a virtual field trip for my students (and anyone else interested). Join us as we travel to the Arctic and learn about life in the far north.