I first understood the word 'suicide' when I was 6 years old. Growing up in Arviat, Nunavut suicide was always an option to my fellow people. Little did I know that this normality to my young life was a crisis of an epic multitude for my fellow Inuit and territory, Nunavut.
Since the creation of Nunavut in 1999 there have been 430 people who have committed suicide as of 2013. Making those numbers 12 times higher than the rest of Canada with almost two thirds being under the age of 24. There was a record high of 45 suicides in 2013 alone, already three in the first two weeks of 2014, two of which I knew, one being my mothers neighbour.
The day my half brother was found hanging underneath an elevated home an announcement was made in my high school for all the staff to go to the staff room. I thought to myself 'who is it this time?' because death and suicide were so present. I rejoice in the day that that question is never asked again.
My digital photograph of a sunset with a photograph of me photo shopped hanging my head low floating above the water is for all of those who committed suicide within my lifetime. For my friends and family that have lost loved ones to the epidemic of taking ones own life. I chose the photograph of the sunset in the background to represent the light of those whom we have lost to suicide. I am hanging my head low to acknowledge those whom we have lost. To pay my respects and to let them know that their memories will never be forgotten, that the pain they carried in their life to undertake such a huge task to take away their last breath will not be forgotten. How must one feel to think they don't deserve to be on this Earth anymore? We are all created through the eyes of God as beautiful and worthy.
In this piece of digital art/photography I wanted to convey the seriousness of the epidemic of suicide for Inuit in Nunavut but also convey a sense of hope. Hope for those youth who still struggle that those struggles in life can make you stronger. That through struggle strength can be born and can lift you up.