The Venice Biennale is one of the most prestigious venues for the exchange of ideas within architectural society. Issue #11/12 will be a special edition of Conditions Magazine dedicated to the challenges facing the arctic region as a whole, with a focus on Greenland in particular. Approved material will be part of the official catalogue of this year's Danish/Greenlandic contribution to The Venice Biennale.
Possible Greenland will focus on a Greenland that is currently the center of a development where the emergence of new natural resources, climate changes, new industries and geological research providing brand new knowledge on the origin of the world, all lead to new and exciting opportunies.Where to Position?
We invite all contributors to reflect upon how Greenland and the arctic region is being re-positioned. The historical and current migration of people in the arctic indicates that we need to understand the region as a far more complex entity than a compilation of national states with national borders. Many different cultural groups transgress these imposed national borders and represent a new, "floating" world-society. At the same time, the Arctic region has become a poster child for climate change, a new hot spot in the search for energy and natural resources. The geopolitical context is becoming unstable as conflicting military interests are being apposed? The traditional cultures have undergone radical change. Language, habitation, identity and lifestyles of the arctic are changing. The opening of new seaways and resources is challenging the notions of sovereignty and ownership, both in the periphery and the center of the arctic. In addition, Greenland's relationship to Denmark is shifting. With the different processes now taking place, Greenland has a unique possibility to reposition on multiple fronts: culturally, economically and politically.
What to SHARE?
Traditionally the Greenlanders were hunter-gatherers, and like other societies of that nature, they depended on exploiting and sharing the available resources. The particularity of Greenland is the extreme nature of the conditions. By borrowing what they needed when you needed it, the society was dynamic, with hardly any private ownership. Over recent years, their society, settlement patterns and governance systems have been forcibly rearranged to align with modern Western perspectives. Subsequently, the modern Greenlanders are facing many challenges similar to those faced by other indigenous cultures in the 20th century. In addition, new and vast resources have now become available and new actors are entering Greenlandic society, its politics and business. The stakes have changed. Natural resources, such as fresh water, oil, gas, minerals and those yet to be discovered under the ice cap in the ocean lay be exploitable. What is a good strategy? How can Greenland avoid being used and instead exploit the exploiters? How could these collective resources be shared in the future? Can the discovery of new resources be the foundation of a new state system?
What to Build?
For Greenlanders to be able to take maximum advantage of the shifting conditions, a strong platform must be built. The particular dilemmas of a traditional society facing rapid transformation need to be confronted. Education, infrastructure, policies addressing cultural identity, societal institutions and communities need to be rethought. The visions or scenarios made today might be outdated tomorrow. How can Greenland consider these Greenland build or rebuild? What are the sustainable strategies to build this future?
We are looking for articles, projects, illustrations and material relating directly to these approaches in the context of Greenland, as well as studies exploring similar conditions (World learning from Greenland/ Greenland learning from the World). A special issue of Conditions, produced with a guest editorial panel, will serve as catalogue for the exhibition in the Danish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2012.
Please send your abstracts (maximum:1 page) by the 5th of March.
Deadline for final submissions will be the 13th of April.