André Ruiter Historic Landscapes

Bluie East Two

An abandoned airfield in Greenland

About the project

During World War II the United States established a number of airfields in Greenland. They all shared the codename “Bluie”. Bluie East Two was an airfield and weather station at Ikateq in East Greenland.

In August 2009, I spent my holiday in East Greenland. I joined several boat trips to explore the region. One trip was heading to the Knut Rasmussen glacier and included two stops. The first stop appeared to be Bluie East Two. I didn’t know anything about the airfield and was overwhelmed by the first impressions.

We stayed there for just one hour, which was way too short for me. The rusting vehicles in the remote landscape created a surreal sight. I searched for the most interesting objects and composed my shots without using a tripod. I tried to make the most out of the limited time.

Back home I started collecting information about the airfield. Resources were limited, but I learned something about the presence of the United States in Greenland during World War II. I regret the pollution caused by the remnants of the airfield, but my visit and its unknown story have inspired me to focus on photographing historic landscapes.