Editorial: We’ve Moved!
Historic Ceremony in Kangiqsualujjuaq
Passages: Heiko Wittenborn
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Chinook Project: Summer 2011 Report
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A portrait of Heiko Wittenborn taken at his
memorial service in Montreal.
Photo: Allen Gordon
May 17, 1952 – August 20, 2011
Nunavik lost an adopted son with the untimely passing of photographer Heiko Wittenborn who died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of fifty-nine.
German-born Wittenborn met Miranda, his bride-to-be, in Spain while she was on vacation. In the late 1970s he left his native land to visit her in Montreal, Quebec where they married, settled down and had a daughter, Kathia. It was in the mid-1990s that Heiko "discovered" Nunavik where for nearly twenty years his passion for the region resulted in a huge photographic portfolio of Inuit people, their culture, environment and wildlife. In the foreword to one of his three books, Nunavik-Québec arctique*, Wittenborn reflected, "I would like to thank the people of Nunavik for the hospitality and generosity they showed me as they welcomed me to an unfamiliar region. It would have been impossible for me to discover and photograph the beauty of their native land without this help and support. Many of those people, whom I met over the years, have become close friends. Every time I visit Nunavik, I meet these old friends again and, then, I feel as if I also belong to this territory."
Close friend Allen Gordon, Executive Director of Nunavik Tourism, said, "Heiko, having grown up in Europe where humans have shaped and altered the landscape, was always deeply moved by the wildness of Nunavik. For over fifteen years Heiko did so much for Nunavik through his beautiful images, books and top quality work from the first day of the Nunavik Tourist Guide. He also, took on many other projects in our region with many organizations. He will be dearly missed."
Dogs being fed on their traditional off season residence – a dog island.
In addition to his passion for photographing wildlife, Heiko Wittenborn also photographically recorded many of Nunavik’s sled dogs. He was a generous man in many ways including granting permission to publish some of his images at no charge in The Fan Hitch.
Heiko Wittenborn leaves behind Miranda, Kathia, his mother Anneliese, who lives in Germany, many friends in Nunavik, elsewhere in Canada and around the world and a legacy of more than 50,000 images of the people and the land he so dearly loved.
*Nunavik-Québec arctique, ISBN 2-551-19632-9, les Publications du Québec, Gouvernement du Québec, 2003, 176 pages and 153 photos, $49.95. The text is in French only but the more than 100 images speak a universal language. It is available by credit card from the publisher. For more information (in English) contact Madeleine Létourneau, pour Service à la clientele, Les Publications du Québec, 1000, route de l’Église, Québec, Québec, G1V 3V9, Tel.: 643-5150 or 1-800-463-2100; Fax: 643-6177 or 1-800-561-3479.