Jonas Bendiksen documents the unique drivers behind displacement on this island nation, where nearly 90 percent of the country's roughly 56,000 inhabitants are Greenlandic Inuit. Many young Greenlanders leave the country seeking work, educational opportunities, or alternatives to the traditional indigenous lifestyle. But the women return to Greenland far less often than the men. Today there are only 85 women to every 100 men. To counter the exodus, Greenlandic authorities are working to create jobs that appeal to the country's highly educated women—even easing restrictions on oil and mining operations to attract investment from the extractive industries.
Jonas spends 10 days in Greenland, documenting the tension between the desire to preserve a traditional lifestyle and also to enter the global community. He spends time with young women in the capital city of Nuuk, and also in more traditional and remote communities outside of the capital. He mixes images of wild landscapes and remote towns with manifestations of the ever-present global culture found in Nuuk.
This project is part of "Contested Lands," a collaboration between Pacific Standard, Magnum Photos, and the Pulitzer Center that sent six Magnum photographers to report on land rights issues from six countries around the globe. Visit our online curriculum for a lesson plan and full PDF of the magazine.