An old tractor serves as an ethnographic entry point to shifting articulations of resources in coastal Finnmark, North Norway. Idle since the 1970s, the tractor is a relic of agricultural dreams, turned to rubble as novel layers of the Varanger landscape are conjured as resourceful. Farming in Finnmark was a geopolitical strategy to secure national borders and to expand a post-war welfare state, it was also a colonial effort to cultivate farmers in the far north. This article details the back-breaking practices required to make thin Arctic topsoil collaborate in realizing modernist dreams of agricultural growth, while state interventions sought to ensure national borders and national identity. The author highlights dialectic relations between mapping and forgetting, crucial in the making of resources and colonizing practices.
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