Greenland's Disko Arts Festival: Theater and music on top of the world

Ed Scott-Clarke, CNNUpdated 18th August 2017
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(CNN) — Rodebay.
It means Red Bay, red because of the blood from slaughtered whales back when it was a West Greenland trading post for 18th-century Dutch whalers.
But today it has a very different life.
With a population of fewer than 50, the bay's only town, Oqaatsut, is a quiet place with a few dozen brightly colored buildings.
This tranquility was one of its main attractions for Arnbjörg Danielson, an Icelandic artistic director specializing in theater, when searching for a location to open a contemporary arts residency.
Danielsen has always been fascinated by the Arctic its peacefulness and timelessness, she believed, were perfectly conducive to creative thinking. That's why she chose Greenland for the first residency in 2013.
Sponsored by European grants, it saw international artists of all backgrounds come to this remote part of the world to collaborate on the making of new pieces, whether they be musical, photographic or culinary.
This year, these collaborations culminated in a festival that attracted more than 250 visitors, all of whom arrived by the only means possible: boat.
Danielson is keen to keep a national element to the festival, though. Several Greenlanders were among the event's 36 strong line-up, including the country's only contemporary classical composer Arnannguaq Gerstrøm who incorporated the howling of huskies into her work.
The cuisine, too, is entirely locally sourced, with reindeer, seal and musk-ox all on the menu. The 2017 festival has been such a success, next year's one will receive support from local government.