Ole Jorgen Hammeken tells us it's colder in Amsterdam than it is in Ummannaq at the moment. That is hard to believe when we see the gigantic icebergs and snow planes that feature in his documentary ‘Global Warming Dog Sled expedition’. In 2007 Ole, together with a team of local men from Ummannaq, opened up a new sled route via the inland ice to Illulissat, when the old postal sled route no longer could be used by dog sleds due to global warming. His film is an impressive document of the Inuit's drive to explore and face the harsh conditions of their environment. Because of the changing climate, life is quickly becoming extremely challenging for the Greenlanders.
This is also the subject of a short film by Jan van den Berg, called ‘Silent Snow’. Ole invites Jan to the stage and he shows us his film, that has already won many prizes in international festivals. The story is about two girls who discuss the pollution of Greenland and also stars Ole.
In another film by Mike Magidson, ‘Inuk’, Ole plays the role of a hunter who looks after a boy who lost his father. Mike is in the audience tonight, and Ole persuades him to show some clips from the film that will soon be finished.
Ole jokes that his hometown is quickly turning into ‘Ummannaq-wood’. It seems that he is the Brad Pitt of this new hotspot for moviemaking! But actually Ole doesn't act like a star at all. During the evening, he brings all his friends to the stage to present their films and artworks.
One of them is Ap Verheggen, who is working on Cool(E)Motion, a moving sculpture project that calls attention to the effects of global warming around the world. Finally, artist Rob Sweere is invited to the stage to announce that he will soon talk about his experiences in Greenland in the Bardot Proviant Klub at Mediamatic. Rob tranferred his Silent Sky performance to Ummannaq (previously performed at Mediamatic in 2005) and will also speak about his new work.
At the end of the evening, a member of the audience asks Ole if he has a Plan B. While it's great that all the films and artworks help raise awareness for the problems of global warming, it's too late to prevent the changes that are taking place. Ole answers that there is an old Inuit saying that goes: “It's only the weather that rules”. That's probably no longer the case, but this evening it became clear that the Inuit's amazing ability to adapt will hopefully assist them in overcoming a lot of difficult situations.