The Satellite at the End of the World: Infrastructural Encounters in North Greenland

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Abstract

In this chapter, I examine processes of place-making in Qaanaaq, North Greenland which display how its marginality is produced on different scales. I focus on the mutual co-shaping of local everyday practices and infrastructural systems, which I term ‘infrastructural encounters’. Through stories of key infrastructural sites in Qaanaaq, such as its hotel, satellite ground station and telecommunication station, as well as the local concept “down south” which describes the world south of Qaanaaq, the chapter highlights how infrastructural encounters act in the ongoing making of Qaanaaq, leading to extractive processes in the circulation of people and information, marginalization of Qaanaaq’s internet users and remote control of infrastructure. I draw on fieldwork conducted across multiple sites in Greenland, including interviews with locals and representatives from various functions in Qaanaaq. Through this exploration of infrastructure and everyday life, the chapter sheds light on the ways in which marginality is produced and sustained, and the role that telecommunication infrastructures play in shaping the experiences of those positioned as living ‘on the margins’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMobilities on the Margins : Creative Processes of Place-Making
EditorsBjörn Thorsteinsson, Katrin Anna Lund, Gunnar Thór Jóhanneson, Guðbjörg Jóhannesdóttir
Number of pages26
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication dateNov 2023
Pages197-223
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-41346-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-41344-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023
SeriesArctic Encounters
ISSN2730-6488

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