Digitalisation of crafts. Comparative approaches to Arctic fur
Keywords:Digital engagements, postcolonial, Arctic, indigenous, fur sewing.
Efforts to digitally engage with indigenous source communities and
craftspeople are many and diverse. This paper has as its starting point a comparison
between two such digital engagements, both celebrations of Arctic animal fur
clothing, yet each at seemingly opposite ends of a continuum of possible digital
interfaces. Skinddragter Online and Mittimatalik Arnait Miqsuqtuit Collective
were both launched the same year, 2015, in Copenhagen and Mittimatalik,
Nunavut, Canada respectively. By comparing each with the other, our ambition is
to illuminate some of the curatorial choices involved in the making of such digital
platforms, and the consequences they have in terms of wider visibility, audiences
reached, knowledge included, and collaborative engagements invited. Postcolonial
critique can come at the expense of general outreach, conversations between
designated experts can be difficult to make equal. Technological sophistication can
be challenged by the digital divide. Attention to issues of cultural appropriation is
a constant. Yet, driving these initiatives is the need to maintain a digital diversity
in online and offline spaces.
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