Greenland and the Faroe Islands: Denmark’s autonomous territories from postcolonial perspectives

Adam Kočí, Vladimír Baar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


In July 2021 Greenlanders will be commemorating the 300th anniversary of Danish colonization.
The anniversary has come at a time when the world is facing a wave of reflections on the
injustices of colonialism. The article aims to contribute to this discussion and frame the history
of Greenlandic dependence on Denmark, considering contemporary political development. For
comparison, the authors refer to the Faroe Islands as an additional autonomous territory of the
Danish realm. Greenland was a colony until 1953 and acquired autonomy in 1979, while the
Faroe Islands have never been considered a colony and gained autonomy more than 30 years
earlier (1948). To find further similarities and differences in the postcolonial realities in
Greenland and the Faroe Islands, the authors compare both countries, using concepts from
literature on postcolonialism. Their findings reveal that the number of differences between
Greenlandic and Faroese postcolonial realities outweigh the discussed similarities. The authors
conclude that the consequences of coloniality are more serious in Greenland. Furthermore,
given Greenland’s important strategic location in the Arctic region, Greenlanders should be
more wary of world powers exploiting their country for economic profit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-202
Number of pages15
JournalNorsk Geografisk Tidsskrift–Norwegian Journal of Geography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Arctic region
  • Faroe Islands
  • Greenland
  • Danish realm
  • postcolonialism
  • Denmark


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