photo book by Leise Johnsen


She creates a trustful space for people who generously share their lives and presence. This makes her photos compelling, unique, and timeless.

the book

In 1936 a young Danish woman travels to Greenland. As a newly educated photographer, her wish and ambition is to document the life of the inuit in Greenland, that is otherwise inaccessible to the outside world. Her name is Jette Bang. She is but 22 years old. Jette Bang breaks with the traditions of that time, by portraying inuit women and children in their daily lives. This gives the representation of Greenland a whole new perspective.

No matter the motive, the photographs has a feel of presence rarely seen. Her love and admiration of inuit life and the spectacular Greenlandic nature is expressed through the light, shapes and compositions. Elements which together elevates the photographs to art.

Leise Johnsen writes about the life and travels of Jette Bang and of her importance to the historic documentation of Greenland. 85 photographs have been selected by Leise Johnsen for this book. The book also contains a DVD with the film Inuit, which Jette Bang made for Grønlands Styrelse (The Administration of Greenland) in 1940.

the author

Leise Johnsen is the director of The Greenlandic House in Copenhagen. She has previously worked in Greenland for several years as director of The Nordic Institution in Greenland. She has a master’s degree in eskimology from the University of Copenhagen, after which she took initiative to digitalize the big collection of Jette Bang photographs for The Arctic Institute in Denmark.