2020 – G60

From 1721 until 1953, Greenland has been in the Danish constitution be defined as a colony of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Greenland and the Inuit people were seen as vulnerable and therefore were to be protected from attack from outside hostility. The country was thus only accessible to a few outsiders and was kept isolated with little contact to the rest of world. And all trade was monopolized by one corporation owned by the Kingdom of Denmark.

The development of US military airbases during WWII rose the standard of living and broke the trade monopoly. An agreement from 1941 between the US government and the independent Danish US ambassador during the war stipulated that the air bases could only be closed when there was no threat of attack on North America. Furthermore after WW II, the US government passed legislation to secure the existence of the airbases.

The change of the geopolitics in the Arctic region, the Danish military’s inability to maintain sovereignty of Greenland in the following years coupled with the post-war discourse of decolonization forced the Danish government to change the status of Greenland in the Danish constitution from a colony to a county in 1953.

This, however, also introduced modernity in terms of efficiency through urbanization and centralization. In 1960’s the Danish government implemented a centralization agenda called G60 in Greenland. The strategy was to educate and concentrate the population around a few towns in order to streamline industry. The citizens of Greenland were either persuaded or forced to move to towns in coastal areas.

The following videos are interior close-ups of remnants from an abandoned house in the village of Assaqutaq, which was affected by the G60 planning strategy.

The sound composition is the sound of melting water from the glacier in Greenland.