Photo Edit for NPR: This Photographer Pairs New And Old Images To Converse With Greenland's Colonial Past
Jan 24, 2022
📷 @bidstrupp @400yearsproject
This past July marked 300 years since Lutheran missionary Hans Egede arrived in Greenland, an event that signified the beginning of Denmark's colonial rule over the island.
Egede was a Danish-Norwegian missionary who traveled there in 1721 hoping to convert a group of white Europeans whose ancestors had settled in Greenland hundreds of years earlier. Unbeknownst to him those first Norse settlements had perished when the colony was neglected by Norway in the 1300s and 1400s during the Little Ice Age.
Rather than finding white Norse Vikings, Egede found the indigenous Inuit people, and he took it upon himself to colonize Greenland with the support of what at the time was called Denmark-Norway upon his arrival on July 3, 1721.
In recognition of this anniversary, NPR spoke with photographer @bidstrupp Minik Bidstrup, whose project, "Courageously Take a Stand" –– or Saperasi isumaqaleritsi in the Greenlandic Inuit language Kalaallisut –– confronts Greenland's long colonial history from an indigenous perspective.
Bidstrup is of Greenlandic Inuit background, called Inuk in the singular. His project pairs his own images with those of another Greenlandic indigenous photographer, John Møller, who was active between 1889 and 1922.
"I'm having photographic conversations with the past," Bidstrup says. "The theme of these conversations is centered around colonialism and its long-term effects."
Read the full story at NPR.org
Thank you to Minik Bidstrup, Greenland National Museum and Archives, @400yearsproject and Nicole Werbeck