‘Banking’ on Greenland’s independence…


Sometimes the arbitrariness of the way the world is divided into sovereign states becomes apparent at the most mundane of moments.

Together with my co-authors, I’m putting the finishing touches on my book Contesting the Arctic, and I’ve used part of my publication budget to purchase rights to two photos taken by a professional photographer in Greenland, for the princely sum of €100. (The fact that the photographer wanted payment in Euros, instead of Danish Krone, itself is interesting, given that Greenland is not in the EU.) When I went to my bank’s online banking webpage to transfer the funds to his account at the Bank of Greenland, I faced a problem. I had to pick the bank’s country from a drop-down menu, but Greenland wasn’t there. So, notwithstanding my solidarity with the freed0m-loving people of Kalallit Nunaat, I selected ‘Denmark’ as the next best option. But then…

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