Hunting Life: Explorations of Biosociality in Greenland

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Janne Karina Flora


Aarhus University


DKK 4,684,428




Semper Ardens: Accelerate


Hunting has always been the backbone of Inuit existence in Greenland. While fewer people hunt today than only 10 years ago, hunting remains the main livelihood of families and communities throughout the country. Moving beyond standard deterministic approaches to hunting, this anthropological project aims to explore the deep-seeded entanglements of human-animal worlds expressed in hunting, and how hunting is affected by (and affects) changes such as pollution, (un-)regulated hunting, fisheries, resource extraction, and sea ice. Thus, exploring dynamic practices around food, family, species, and hunting areas, the project seeks a deeper understanding of the ways in which hunting lives are made and unmade, affording new ones to emerge and old ones to reshape or disappear.


Using the notion of the biosocial this project contributes to understanding the many ways in which so-called biological and social worlds are not demarcated, but co-constituted: to anthropological theorization about human-animal relations within and beyond Anthropocene realities: and to the development of a conceptual understanding of fluctuations, change, and resilience in small Arctic communities. Finally, the project ethnographically tests the notion and limits of the biosocial as an analytical concept. All aspects are important to the understanding the growing complexities and nuances of sustainable human-and-animal life in the Arctic.


The project carries out long-term ethnographic fieldwork using participant observation and interviews in three different communities in West, North, and East Greenland, taking part in, and following the everyday lives of hunting families, including retired and aspiring hunters. The project shall also work with biologists and specialists in wildlife ecosystem management - in academic settings and if possible, also in the field. We shall collaborates with hunters and their families, using inclusive and multimodal methods, for instance mobile phone camera and video, thus giving opportunity to hunters and their families to document their own practices, and, using this material as catalyst for the co-creation of knowledge and dissemination.

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