Displaced is an ongoing series committed to the indigenous people of Chisasibi, Northern Québec, who contested the construction of Canada's largest hydroelectric power station in the early 1980's.
The Cree Nation of Chisasibi was situated on the now semi-deserted island of Fort George. In 1981, due to high risks of erosion and flooding caused by the construction of the dams, people were displaced to their current location in order to ensure their safety.
Today, the Cree Nation of Chisasibi attempts to heal from the scars caused by this displacement, which triggered feelings of anger, nostalgia and longing for a land that was once untouched by industry. Although the community was indemnified, the impact of the dam’s construction is still felt today in ways that cannot be monetarily compensated. It transformed the landscape, flooded ancient burial grounds and shifted the Cree Peoples lifestyle, from a traditional hunter gatherer lifestyle to extreme consumerism in some cases.
Today’s youth carries the weight a of long and arduous conversations that happened many years ago, but also has struggles of its own. I began this project when visiting Chisasibi for the MikwChiyâm artist-in-residency program in 2016 and plan on re-visiting Chisasibi in the summer of 2017 to photograph the fast-changing landscape, the impact of technology on indigenous culture, the loss of traditions, and the people as they continue to re-shape their identity
Nicolas Gouin‘s conceptual documentary work primarily uses large-format, digital, analog, moving and still images. His interest for social documentary began during his studies in fine arts and his most recent work focuses on coming of age within specific age groups and isolated communities. He is available for editorial, advertising, commissions and always looking for a good story to share.