High Light

Tags: Sunand Prasad

Qeqertarsuaq is a settlement of 800 people on the southern tip of Disko Island. The church, Lutheran like most of inhabited Greenland, sits at the highest point in the village and the houses are scattered on the hillsides mostly on individual plots. Many are brightly painted using every colour in the spectrum contrasting with the magnificent barrenness of much of the landscape. The cemetery makes the brightest splash of colour with the graves heaped with dayglow artificial flowers. Christian missionaries from Denmark started coming to Greenland in the early 18th century and eventually displaced the shamanistic religion practiced by the inhabitants, paving the way for the establishment of Greenland as a Danish colony. Self-rule was granted in 1979 and soon there is to be a vote on independence. Ludvig Hammeken, who is studying marketing management in Copenhagen, has joined the crew as our second Inuit guide and with Karen makes a presentation on Greenland’s history and culture.

Though a nationalist he does not think Greenland is viable as a separate state, with its population of just 56,000 and no trading relations with countries other than Denmark. Mojisola Adebayo (one of whose works is called Moj of the Antarctic) raises parallels with the colonial experience round the world and the way it has left many populations unconfident in their abilities to find their own answers to the problems of development. ‘Climate Tourism’ is a growing industry in Greenland and there is an impressive and growing list of international dignitaries who come to see the front line of climate change for themselves. Their own contribution to global warming would be justified only if it brought about a real change, and things are not looking too good on that front.

Continure Reading on The Architect’s Journal website.

One Comment

  1. adah kay

    Posted Friday 3 Oct at 10:05 | Permalink

    Hi Sunand – wonderful following your trek. Your vivid descriptions bring it alive.
    xx adah