This powerful photography series shows Greenland’s frozen landscapes and the hearty individuals who continue to make a life there. It was selected as a finalist in the LensCulture Exposure Awards 2015. Discover more inspiring work from all 31 of the winners and finalists.
Over the last few decades, Greenland’s society has undergone a profound evolution. As the environment shifts and the world warms up, its people have begun to embrace Western lifestyles and modes of consumption in parallel.
Supermarkets and cell phones are slowly making their way into Inuit culture. For the teenagers, in the major towns, the memories of seal hunting trips are long gone. And when and where they still occur (in the northernmost dwellings predominantly), the traditional outfits made from animal hides mix with modern fabrics.
These radical and rapid changes raise questions about this people’s society and their very identity. Not surprisingly, they sharply divide public opinion in Greenland. The people are torn between a desire to catch up with the modern world and a feeling that they are fundamentally an ice population which, like the ice itself, is slowly melting away.
I traveled to Greenland at the beginning of 2013—journeying from the 67th to the 77th parallel until Qaanaaq. While there, I stayed with the local inhabitants of the towns and made recordings of these deep-set changes on film. “Allanngorpoq,” the title of this series, is a Greenlandic word. It can be translated as “being transformed.”