"Go outside. The lovely mountains two, Sermitsiaq and Kingittorsuaq, look at them.” While the housing blocks carry a past of national diaspora, layers of snow cover a future development in the city of Nuuk, Greenland. The landscape acts as a scenery for collective nostalgia and industrial production, as the film studies glitches in translation of language and culture in a post-colonial modernity.
'Translations' (in Greenlandic: 'Nutsigassat') reflects on the power of language as a colonizer of foreign landscapes. The Danish names imposed on Greenland's spaces and landscapes have historically been a part of Denmark's engagement in the vast country in the North. A process, through which the mountains of Sermitsiaq and Kingittorsuaq that surround Nuuk were detached from both their semantic and geographical meaning. But also the physical signs of the fatal interventions of the past are legible in the concrete high-rises that replaced the small communities of the bygds along the coasts which were closed down by the Danish government in the 1960s and 70s. Even the manual mass production of tupilaks (sacred amulettos made of bones and horns) describe a cultural mutation of the mythical figure into a tourist object. Through a complex juxtaposition of text, voice and her beautiful 16mm film imagery, Zenner has created a critical work in which the majestic and vast vistas of Greenland defy the history imposed on them.
Tinne Zenner (b. 1986, Denmark) is a visual artist and filmmaker based in Copenhagen.