Anastasia Mityukova

The Iceworm Project deals with the destruction of a preserved place where about 500 people lived: Thule. This village, the northernmost village in Greenland, was the position chosen by the American government in the 1950s to build an airport and a military b


ase (Operation Blue Jay) with the agreement of the Danish government. The construction of the airport resulted in the displacement of the local population, following the destruction of homes, without any prior consultation.
In 1957, was built under the ice Camp Century, also called Project Iceworm, a very large military experimental base which was intended to store nuclear missiles that were turned towards the Soviet Union. However, after six years of incessant construction, the glacial crust became fragile and the place was abandoned. All waste, including nuclear reactor waste (the main energy source at the base), has been buried. Today, with climate change, this waste threatens the local ecosystem with pollution. Glacio-
logists predict total radiation exposure by 2050, which would be dramatic for the Inuit population who live solely from hunting and fishing.

Ten years later, in 1967, a B-52 plane crashed on the ice 20 km from the Inuit village. It carried four nuclear bombs 1200 times more powerful than Hiroshima's. Three explode,
one melted the ice cap and sunk in the ocean and is still not found today. Environmental pollution is considerable. The Danish government, which had signed an anti-nuclear
treaty, is being singled out. Once again, it is the local population that suffers the most: cancers, pollution of fauna and flora. To date, neither the Danish nor the US governments recognise their responsibilities.

My work exposes this destruction of the landscape and a population of different media. The leporello presents the coastal area of the military base. Google Maps cannot
map the site at once, because of the very changing climate, the landscape is a mosaic of seasons: sometimes it is summer, sometimes winter. We then see the probable consequences of future global warming. The cyanotype shows the extent of the B-52 crash - the black trace that extended over 11 km was the fuel oil burned mixed with plutonium.
The video, of 2'30'', is elaborated from American archives of the first nuclear tests. The army was then building Potemkin villages to test the destructive capacity of its bombs. The soundtrack consists of traditional songs from the Thule village, recorded by Jean Malaurie in 1960, at the same time as the crash. The blackened documents, using a passe-partout, show how the American government wanted
to silence the case: by deleting the term "Nuclear", they thought it was settled. Yet all the text contains clues, which, once put forward, attest to the importance and nature of the accident.

The book "Project Iceworm" of 600 pages is the collection of archive images found on the construction of the base, put into perspective with images made by Inuit, living on
the spot, collected in 2018 via social networks. The pages are bright yellow, to mark the latency and dangerousness of this nuclear waste that can arise at any time.

Read more

Abstract & Fine Art, Documentary, Experimental, archives, research


Collage, Mixed media, photography, video, Cianotype, book