Peary Land

Spiral bound 

7.75 X 9.25 inches 
88 pages 
24 historic photographs 
20 satellite images 
70 color photographs 

Limited Edition of 50 

Published August 2018

An ice sheet covers 80% of the world’s largest island, blanketing it in white. Despite this stark landscape, Eric the Red called the island “Greenland” when he landed there over 1000 years ago. It’s widely believed that the name was an attempt at marketing; trying to encourage Viking settlers to join him (although the region’s climate was a bit warmer back then too). These settlements were likely never larger than 2500 people and were abandoned in the 15th century. Although the Vikings left, the name stuck.

Today, Greenland, an autonomous constituent country of Denmark, is the least densely populated territory in the world. Almost 90% of its 60,000 residents are Greenlandic Inuit, residing primarily along the southeastern coast of the country. The vast majority of the island is uninhabited by humans.

The 57,000 km2 on the far northeastern tip of Greenland is an extremely remote region called Peary Land. There are no permanent settlements there, although there are remains of prehistoric villages dating from c. 2400-200 BCE as well as two scientific research stations which are among the farthest north outposts in the world.

The landscape consists of polar deserts and glaciated mountains cut by deep Arctic fjords. Sparse vegetation sustains caribou, musk ox, Arctic hare, and lemmings. These, in turn, sustain Arctic fox, polar wolf, and polar bears. Colonies of seabirds, gulls, and geese dot the region in the summer, flying south to avoid the long and dark Arctic winters.

But Peary Land is far from untouched by man. The delicate Arctic ecosystem is extremely vulnerable to climate change. This book is a photographic exploration of Peary Land. I have never visited it, so my exploration relies on appropriated images from historical archives and digital research. To understand this remote landscape, I have used three sources which, like Greenland’s name, are all interestingly misleading or incomplete.

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