Staying in Upernavik, Greenland, as artist in residence last year, I keep following the news and actual ongoing debate regarding Arctic issues. Greenland has been a colony of the Kingdom of Denmark for almost 300 years, now developing into a sovereign nation. Within the next years, Greenland experiences the transformation from a hunter- and fishing culture to an industrialized society on a sociocultural, economical and landscaped level. Greenland has to ascertain to what extent minerals, oil and heavy industry become pillars of their new sovereignty. Studying political documents at the archives and collections in Copenhagen over the last weeks, I was intrigued to realize that negotiations about the North were almost identical at the turn of the last century as in our time, there is a surprising continuity in history: For centuries, there has been a race for the marking of territories and access to resources. Whereas previously hunting grounds were negotiated (e.g. for whales), nowadays oil and other raw materials are the targets.
Parts of this work from my stay in Upernavik will be shown in Braunschweig next week, and until the end of January.