GRÆNSELØS STRAF: Om grønlandsk indsathed i et dansk fængsel


  • Julie Rahbæk Møller
  • Marlène Elisabeth M. J. Spielman



The fi eldwork upon which this article is based took place among Greenlandic

inmates in 2005 in two different prisons, Anstalten ved Herstedvester, Denmark

and Anstalten for Domfældte in Nuuk, Greenland. We set out to investigate the

affects of being sent from Greenland to Anstalten ved Herstedvester to serve a

sentence of indefi nite time. Analytically we combine the two places into one

social space, as our informants in Anstalten ved Herstedvester experience the one

place through the other. They have all served a sentence in prisons in Greenland

and they combine these experiences in understanding their present context. Even

though the structure of Anstalten ved Herstedvester is characterized by transparent

boundaries and the opposite applies to Anstalten for Domfældte in Nuuk, the

prisoners all have diffi culties navigating in the social space. In Herstedvester the

rare visits and leaves become a mediator of life inside and outside society. Even

though these are desired, they are also experienced as expressions of a life, which

is diffi cult to imagine since they feel locked in time and space. Their experience

of time is characterised by permanance, which creates ignorance and insecurity,

and they feel locked in time and without agency because of the encircled social

space. “Home” is another important element of life in prison, but one that almost

impossible to obtain. The convicts fi nd a feeling of at-homeness by smoking

marijuana. However, some of our informants chose to stop smoking and were

thereby able to receive a reduction of their time in prison.






Møller, J. R., & Spielman, M. E. M. J. (2008). GRÆNSELØS STRAF: Om grønlandsk indsathed i et dansk fængsel. Tidsskriftet Antropologi, (57).