Anastasia Mityukova

Project Iceworm
“Project Iceworm is one of the artist’s first series on Greenland. It tells the story of the American military presence during the Cold War, and its consequences on the local populations of the Thule region, in the very north of the island. In 1941, the United States built a secret military base there, and in 1953 its expansion led to the forced evacuation of the Inughuit, a traditional Inuit community. In the context of the Cold War, the United States launched the construction of a secret underground base in 1957, Project Iceworm, a forward operating base for NATO forces for the deployment of nuclear warheads close to the USSR. But after a few years of drilling, the instability of the ice precipitated the abandonment of the project. The tunnels were filled in and the rubble and radioactive materials were buried directly on site. Using archival images and private photographs taken by the local population, Mityukova reconstructs the history of this form of colonisation, which leaves behind radioactive, chemical and biological waste, and traces the impact of geopolitical tensions on the local population. Project Iceworm is a personal archive still under construction of about 6,000 images collected from social networks, American propaganda videos, newspapers and magazines. It aims to deconstruct the romanticized imaginations associated with these territories, and to reveal their ecological and social realities.”