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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

Nunavik: A Land, Its People




Luc Bouvrette, Associate Senior Researcher, World Music Research Laboratory, University of Montreal


Luc Bouvrette, designer and photographer

Small Museum

Small Museum




This trilingual web exhibit is a personal initiative of its creator, Luc Bouvrette, D.Mus., made possible by his affiliation to a small collection-based research unit at the University of Montreal. His researcher status enabled him to propose a project to the Virtual Museum of Canada's Investment Program from which he received funding.

He has been, for the past 15 years, a freelance photographer and interactive media producer. This has led him to handle all aspects of creating educational interactive media: from concept to graphic design, research, photography and web integration.

Aside from the precious help of a consultant in the history and archaeology of the region as well as two dedicated translators, this project was basically built single-handedly.
Intended for school programs as well as the general public, it focuses specifically on a region of Eastern Arctic Canada of 500,000 km2 called Nunavik.


From its inception, it was decided that the project's contents would in major part be based on unpublished material that would be collected in the field over the course of seven expeditions. Many objects of Inuit material culture had to be photographed in situ, such as the inuksuk, a stone sculpture found on the land that preserves its true meaning only if kept in its original context. 

Because of this fieldwork dependent material, a photojournalistic approach was chosen to face what would eventually become a driving force of the project: uncertainty, more often than not imposed by the extremes of the arctic climate. 

This approach gave Luc the flexibility to always keep an open eye and be ready for spontaneous events and chance encounters. It also supposed that structural changes to the project might occur even late in the production. However, since he took charge of all aspects of the website he could afford to go back and forth between the production stages to accommodate the constraints of alternative material.

In a sense, the website's subject imposed an in situ approach where photojournalism was integrated to the research and creative processes. As a result, this methodology injected a dose of spontaneity to the final product. Uncertainty acted as a powerful catalyst for the production of this living cultural heritage project. Photojournalism enabled Luc to treat the exhibit's subject in an organic fashion and express through his many encounters and his photography a fascinating land and its extraordinary people.


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