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Accepted Contribution:

"From both eyes and feet on the Land, we learn": evoking contested grounds in subarctic Québec  
Andrea Bordoli (University of Bern)

Contribution short abstract:

The proposed object is an archival aerial image found at the McGill Subarctic Research Station, Schefferville, Northern Québec. I will evoke a discussion that originated around it during fieldwork to reflect on matters of grounding/ungrounding in the context of settler/indigenous relationships.

Contribution long abstract:

The proposed object is an archival aerial image that was lying with hundreds of others in one of the abandoned buildings of the McGill Subarctic Research Station, Schefferville, Northern Québec. The image was part of an aerial photography campaign carried out by the Canadian state's Department of Energy, Mines and Resources during the second half of the XXth century. It was collected during a recent fieldwork trip in 2022/2023.

The picture represent a black and white landscape from above. It is a landscape from the area surrounding Schefferville, a remote mining region at the heart the Labrador Through, an iron-rich region spanning across Labrador and Northern Québec. The photograph carries a number and is marked by a copyright, "Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada".

I propose to discuss an ethnographic vignette that originated from the day in which I brought this photograph with me to share it with some of my closest fieldwork interlocutors in Matimekush Lac-John, the Innu community adjacent to Schefferville. I would like to describe the photograph not directly, by its visible features, but rather obliquely, via the discussion that originated around it on that specific day. Departing from the photograph, this proposition opens up a space to think about contrasting experiences to ground(s) and/or "the Land", its representations and ownership claims, as well as to evoke the complex network of grounding/ungrounding forces mobilised during the parallel processes of "setting up" the settler state and of dispossession of Indigenous territories.

Roundtable RT178
Doing and undoing grounds: rethinking the groundings of anthropocene anthropology
  Session 1 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -