enRoute Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Could you tell us what inspired this series?
Alexi Hobbs I was first sent up north for a contract focusing on positive forces in the Inuit communities of Nunavik. The more I learned about the history of the region while visiting over the past four years, the more I began to realize that the images I was making echoed how I felt about the land, its people and the friends I’d made there.
ER What misconceptions did you have about Nunavik before visiting, and how did those change?
AH My knowledge of Inuit culture was limited to the romantic notions that have been projected by colonizers and explorers, layered with the media’s focus on the negative aspects of the community’s struggles. But this has changed over the past four years. Yes, the North is beautiful, and, yes, there are many social issues, but what society doesn’t have problems? I remember I was walking down the street during my first visit to Salluit, and there were wrecked trucks and snowmobiles everywhere. Out of nowhere, this teenage girl drove by and yelled, “Welcome to Salluit!” with a huge grin on her face. It was in huge contrast to the surroundings, and I was really moved by it.