Not everyone sees retreating Arctic sea ice as a problem. Some see it as an opportunity. Walsh photographed this mural of Greenland’s flag in the capital, Nuuk, two days before the June 21st 2009 self-governance ceremony, in which Denmark handed over more power to the people of Greenland. Greenland’s leaders have since frequently stated that vanishing sea ice benefits the country by opening up waterways to oil exploration and traffic. "Greenland used to be a big, white blob on the world map," Aleqa Hammond, an opposition leader and former foreign minister of Greenland said this week. "Now we have a global role."
“This was an auspicious time,” says Walsh. “The flag itself depicts the Greenland icescape, seascapes and sun, and the ceremony took place on the Summer Solstice. The apartment building – known as ‘Blok P’ is part of a run down complex where some one percent of Greenland’s 57,000 population lived, during Denmark’s 1950s Folketinget program, which aimed to urbanize the Inuit people. The building was demolished on Oct. 19, 2012.”