A bit about Nuuk…and about myself.

First things first: This websites content is created from a subjective perspective. I can’t and don’t pretend to be able to explain the Greenlandic society, eventhough it might be not very huge. I am just a person, who likes to raise questions and is interested in finding answers to them. I like to do that with the means of photography…

In the end of 2016 I came to Nuuk for a month. Of course, I heared about the high rate of suicides of young people as well as the same concerning the abuse of alcohol already before I came. I was told that the Greenlandic people are friendly and welcoming, but shy and introverted. That traditions and family still play a big roll for the community. And I knew that it will be cold and expensive. I expected a tipical capital city of our globalised world, where everything looked the same…even if exposed in Northern Lights.

To tell it right away: Yes, a lot of streotypes seem to be true. But what stuck with me the most from the beginning, was how respectful and open-minded the society is towards gay people. On my first night out in a bar, I saw a group of them, all standing out in some way (just see the following posts). I decided to explore this “community”…The first thing I found out is that there is no such thing as a “gay community” in Nuuk. Although I often heared that there are a lot of gays living in the town, you always have to consider the total size of the population of Greenland, which is ca. 60.000, and of Nuuk itself, which is ca. 16.000. It became clear to me that don’t need to “institutionalize” themselves and create an own “scene”, because they already are fully integrated into the society, living their lives being how they want to be. Greenlands parliament only in 2010 ratified the Law againt the Discrimination of Gays and Lesbians, because it was “not necessary” – there just never has been any discrimination according to the statistics! To be honest, I expected something different from a country that doesn’t even have roads connecting the towns with each other. I realized that a “traditional society” doesn’t have to be reactionary. There are processes that seem to function better than in European socities. I tried to explore them…

Philipp Jeske

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