Artist Gudrun Hasle, in collaboration with Nuuk Art Museum, has invited a series of artists from different countries to create each a flag for the flagstaff by Holms Hus, in the centre of Nuuk.
There are national flags, football flags, maritime signal flags, prayer flags, and so forth. A flag has many meanings – there are designed flag flying days, official flying of flags, flags for celebrations or for everyday occasions. When a flag is flown, something is being indicated or a communication occurs over distance. A flag can express an identity or a relation of belonging.
The first artist of the series is Miki Jacobsen (b. 1965). His flag is a combination of the Greenlandic and the Canadian flags. Miki Jacobsen was educated as an artist in Canada, but currently resides in Nuuk. He has now a son in Canada, to whom the flag is dedicated and marks in this way a mix between the two cultures.
Holms Hus dates back to 1920 and is both one of the first prefab houses and homes owned by Greenlanders in Nuuk. Today it stands uninhabited and has been owned by the municipality since 2011. The house is located by the square Aqqaluks Plads, with a view on the Government buildings, the statue of Hans Egede and Nuuk’s old quarter known as the Colonial Harbour (Nuutoqaq). The square is named after Lars Møller “Aqqaluk” (1842-1926), a printer, lithographer and editor at the first Greenlandic newspaper Atuagagdliutit.
A worksheet about flags has been developed and is available for download for schools and institutions on Kulturrygsækken’s website.
The next flag will be hoisted in May. Keep an eye on Nuuk Art Museum’s Facebook page or website to find out artist and date.
Miki Jacobsen’s speech when the flag was hoisted:
“Inuap erfalasua” by Miki Jacobsen
First of all thank you to Gudrun Hasle and NK for this opportunity creating a flag. I never liked the idea of borders, borders dividing lands and seas. Reality is that we do have all kinds of borders, and we tend to like to put things in boxes. And sometimes it has a meaning putting things in boxes. I think in this matter a large box would do the trick, to make space for everyone. Flags are symbols for something as we all know. Here the symbolism is based on the two flags.
It is no secret we share traditions and culture with Inuit from other nations, cultural heritage, languageand traditions. But even inside Greeland we have diversity in dialects etc. Greenland and Canada has been connected many times over time. Migrations from Canada to Greenland many times. Most recent the people of Avanersuaq ( North Greenland ).
As a kid my curiosity was triggered by my dads book shelf with all the old books about the people who explored the north. Miteq and Arnarulunguaq was some of them. During my second year at the Art School here in Nuuk, I got aware of the students of Greenlands University was going to visit Nunavut ( Northern Canada) I bugged my friend Nuka who was a student at the Greenland univeristy ( Ilisimatusarfik) back then, and his teacher Professor H.C.Petersen to come along with them, and suggested that I could document for them, and at the same time visit other artists and workshops which I did. Later Canada became important to me in other ways, as I attended Art college in Halifax Canada.
In recent years artists from Canada and Greenland has collaborated in the fields of art and culture. But maybe not as much as we want today. The National theatre of Greenland has in recent years occasionally had teachers from Canada. And before that actors from Nunavut Canada and Greenland put up a theatre piece together. But other events like the AWG ( Arctic Winter Games) have helped uniting the different Inuit Nations, not only from Canada. This flag is neither Canadien or Greenlandic, or maybe it is both without being anything else but its own.
Politicians has for too long promised easier acces between our lands, and more exchange. I think artists and many others still are looking forward this to happen. Lets hope future leaders will show the way. Today Greenland and Canada is connected through new families and children. I dedicate the flag to those people, and especially to my son which is connecting the countries in blood.