Greenland has been part of the kingdom of Denmark since 1814, when it was ceded to the Danish Crown towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Its territory is 50 times larger than Denmark proper and its coastline is longer than the circumference of the Earth.
Every year, when the Greenlandic sea begins to freeze in mid-October, 14 officers of the Sirius patrol of the Danish Navy prepare to patrol an area of about 16,000 kilometers of coastline aboard dog sleds. This elite unit has been patrolling the remotest territories of Greenland since 1941, when it was created to counter any incursions by the Germans during the Second World War.
Today it has more of a symbolic role to claim Danish sovereignty over a nation that, although endowed with political autonomy, is part of the Kingdom.
In fact, more and more foreign powers are interested in expanding their sphere of influence on Greenland, rich in mineral resources and positioned on the new trade routes that are opening up due to global warming and melting ice.
Mads Nissen is a Danish documentary photographer. For him, photography is about empathy - creating understanding, closeness, intimacy. He strives to build this bond while focusing on contemporary social issues.
Since 2014, he has been working as a photographer at the Danish newspaper Politiken. Images of him have also been published in Time, Newsweek, CNN, National Geographic, The Guardian, Stern, Der Spiegel and many other publications. In 2015, his photograph of a Russian homosexual couple was selected as Photo of the Year at the World Press Photo.
In 2021 he was named Photographer of the Year for the fourth time in Denmark and again won the World Press Photo with the shot The First Embrace. He is the author of AMAZONAS, a raw and poetic personal journey, and of We Are Indestructible, which tells about Colombia between war and peace.