Stories, emotions, partnerships and the quest for stable relationships in the Greenlandic mining sector

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This study aims to understand the emotional labour and relationship building in connection to the expected mining industry in Greenland. Greenland mining is often portrayed as something that could create an economic basis for national independence which makes politicians curious about what a potential “partnership” could make possible. Envisioning future relationships (in debates about mining in Greenland) also set the framework for reinterpretation and redefinition of the past, to give meaning to promised new development; hence, this kind of future-making tends to be contested. The analysis centres around stories of what could be (if Greenland really was a place of mining), and the theoretical framework makes use of Ahmed’s and Wetherell’s interpretations of affective economies. Thus the study discusses emotional labour with a special focus on partnership, emotions and filtration, while visiting affective scenes and sites related to the mining of Greenland’s minerals. Greenland’s current position as a state in formation, while still reconciling with experiences from the past, affects relationship building, the openness to flirtation, and sometimes creates conflicts and hieratical structures between the potential partners to be.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere23
JournalPolar Record
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press.


  • Greenland
  • Arctic
  • Extractive industries
  • Uranium
  • Politics
  • Affect
  • Emotions
  • Mining
  • Civil society
  • Partnership


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