Read how writer and artist Jørgen Chemnitz collaborates with the beautiful Lea Holm to deconstruct prejudices and push boundaries.
I have published a "tasteful" pinup calendar featuring Lea Holm, aged 22, a Greenlandic model wearing just a little fur or selected parts of her national costume.
I got the idea a couple of years ago when a pair of ultramodern boots were presented in London that were clearly strongly inspired by the Greenlandic "kamik", which is part of the national costume for women. The boots were practically a copy of the original, just a slimmer version with high heels.
"I got the idea a couple of years ago when a pair of ultramodern boots were presented in London"
"A demonstration demanded that the boot be banned."
"Kamik in the Greenlandic national costume are long, broad boots made of sealskin at the bottom with a ring of small, coloured pieces of animal skin sewn on. The upper part includes floral embroidery fashioned in silk thread.
The modern "kamik boot" caused a great deal of controversy here in Greenland – to such an extent that it resulted in a number of protests by women.
A demonstration demanded that the boot be banned, taken off the market; it was seen as offensive and akin to stealing tradition.
This demonstration and other reactions – primarily that of indignation – are clear examples of the reactionary forces that prevail amongst those to whom traditions are static and should be handed down as they are without being allowed to develop.
Ironically, this ignores the fact that the Greenlandic national costume is actually an imaginatively put together amalgam of new and old materials from all corners of the globe: sealskin, pearls, silks.
"Greenlandic national costume is actually put together of new and old materials from all corners of the globe."
"Lea and I talked about publishing the calendar in which she wore only a single piece of the costume on each picture."
The reaction to the modern boots sparked the idea of deconstructing the Greenlandic national costume into its constituent parts. Lea and I talked about publishing the calendar in which she wore only a single piece of the costume on each picture.
The calendar for 2014 is the result. Lea appears in 12 pictures dressed in either shorts, pearl-studded wrist warmers, kamik or the small embroidered collar which is worn underneath the top of silk and a large round pearl collar. We ran out of ideas, so we added a few pictures in which Lea is wearing some fur.
Stirring up the traditions
The calendar is an attempt to stir up our (and others?) traditional view of Greenland; proud hunters and their wives with lives and souls buried deeply in the past.
Greenland is currently undergoing considerable changes – and the somewhat fixed perception we have of ourselves needs to be challenged. And what about the date? Well, I remember to look at the calendar every day :-)
"Greenland is currently undergoing considerable changes."
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