By Lisa Stevenson
In lifestyles Beside Itself, Lisa Stevenson takes us on a haunting ethnographic trip via old moments whilst lifestyles for the Canadian Inuit has hung within the stability: the tuberculosis epidemic (1940s to the early Nineteen Sixties) and the next suicide epidemic (1980s to the present). alongside the way in which, Stevenson problems our common-sense realizing of what existence is and what it potential to deal with the lifetime of one other. via shut awareness to the pictures during which we predict and dream and during which we comprehend the realm, Stevenson describes a global during which existence is beside itself: the name-soul of who dies in a crash lives back in his friend’s infant child, a tender lady stocks a final smoke with a useless buddy in a dream, and the possessed arms of a clock spin uncontrollably over its face. In those contexts, humanitarian regulations make little feel simply because they try and keep lives by means of in basic terms holding a physique alive. For the Inuit, and maybe for we all, existence is “somewhere else,” and the duty is to articulate sorts of deal with others which are sufficient to that fact.
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Additional info for Life Beside Itself: Imagining Care in the Canadian Arctic
If the visual is as tactile as some theorists suggest, is it not possible that our visual images, our memory, work by a kind of sympathetic magic? Is it possible that the contact Frazer is describing is not always physical in the everyday sense but is sometimes visual? If so, what more is there to say about the need to stay magically connected through the grasping eye to one’s grandmother than to recount Sakiassie’s image and its retelling? So when Sakiassie would go to the beach to listen, perhaps he was not really looking for facts—he may have “known” in some sense that his grandmother was dead—but that didn’t stop him from wanting her, and wanting to feel her presence, to be in touch.
The teenagers played golf over the hills with makeshift holes in patches of artificial grass and the kids skipped stones on the bay that the ice hadn’t yet left. I learned then that one of Ittuq and Akikiakjuq’s sons was in prison. Later that summer I asked the prison administration for permission to interview Peutagok Ittuq. Peutagok Ittuq, the son of Ittuq and Akikiaqjuq, was seven years old when his mother was taken down South to be treated for tuberculosis. Facts and Images | 39 He didn’t see her again, or hear from her, when she returned from the hospital.
What does it mean to know that Kaujak died? I just listed the facts I thought I knew. Some of these facts I have tried to verify in the archives. But, discomfitingly, once I was in the archive, the facts begin to falter. It seems that in 1956 the boat didn’t go to Resolute, as Sakiassie reported. It did go in 1957. Could it have been in 1957 that she left? The questions mounted in my mind as I searched for any trace of her, of what happened to her after she died. And yet one thing I noticed is that whether the facts are incontestable or not, factual they still are.