I am currently conducting my postodoctoral reseach in the project “Indigeneity in Waiting: Elusive Rights and the Power of Hope” funded by the Academy of Finland (2016-2020). The project critically engages with what we have termed the politics of hope and promise and the inclination of current global politics to encourage indigenous peoples to be persistent while their rights are being clarified.
My research has, in addition to its more theoretical focus, an empirical component that is essential in informing the conceptual discussions that I am developing. One of the empirical contexts of my research is Greenland and its aspirations for independence from Denmark. Therefore, it has been important to be able to travel to Greenland in order to gather research material and to develop cooperation with researchers there. After my first trip to Nuuk last year, the north2north mobility grant that I received enabled me to return to Greenland for a few weeks in September 2017. I was visiting Ilisimatusarfik/the University of Greenland and meeting researchers there to discuss current issues pertaining to the economic, social and legal developments in Greenland. It has been very informative to meet scholars who have insights on these developments from a longer time span and that can also guide my research towards the most relevant issues. This would not be possible without having the chance to visit the place itself and establish contacts there. I was also conducting interviews while in Nuuk, and I was able re-establish contact with politicians I had interviewed the previous year. This is extremely valuable for my research as it gives a deeper and more substantial base to build my discussion on.
My trip also included a visit with my colleagues to Ilulissat in connection to a collaboration project with Ilisimatusarfik. We organised an open workshop to discuss local developments and had a very fruitful discussion focusing especially on tourism in Greenland. One of the most valuable things I learned during the mobility period is that it often requires a different approach and attitude to conduct research in Greenland, not least because of practicalities related to travel and different ways of distributing information among the local residents. Read more about the experiences we had in Ilulissat in the blog of our Northern Political Economy research team: http://www.arcticcentre.org/blogs/Breathing-in-the-City-of-Icebergs-/me32fvt0/5a571ec7-b5d4-4550-8919-ecdc66ee7672
In addition to the academic value of the trip, it was a real pleasure to return to the spectacular scenery of the Nuuk fjord, to enjoy the outdoors on bright and crisp fall days and to get to see and hear the great icebergs of Ilulissat and the Eqi glacier.