Greenland, Arctic Orientalism and the search for definitions of a contemporary postcolonial geography

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This article begins by discussing the applicability of Orientalism in the Arctic where it was first applied by Ann Fienup-Riordan in her work in the 1990s in relation to Inuit representation in American cinema/documentary. The article moves on to consider more broadly approaches to the Arctic in order to identify it as a postcolonial geography. It raises the question whether the concept of an Arctic region is too broad for a postcolonial approach through a more specific focus on Greenland. While Greenland is obviously a part of the Arctic, the island also requires a colonial and postcolonial contexualisation of its own, not least due to the particularity of its history. The exemplification through the Greenlandic case is discussed through the analysis of three major Danish, and Danish-Greenlandic films on Greenland, Qivitoq (1956), Heart of Light (1998) and The Experiment (2010). The article discusses what postcolonial sensibilities can be articulated through an analysis of the three films with a particular emphasis on the negotiation of Greenlandic, Greenlandic-Danish and Danish identities. Reading Greenland through a postcolonial lens as manifested in the Greenlandic space the films grant returns to article to its opening considerations of the relationship between articulation and representation in a postcolonial space enabled by Said’s intervention.
TidsskriftKULT. Postkolonial Temaserie
Sider (fra-til)139-53
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - maj 2015


  • Greenland, postcolonial, film

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