N U N I V A K   I S L A N D,  A K

Situated off the far west coast of Alaska in the Bering Sea, Nunivak Island is a massive remote sprawl of volcanic tundra and coastal cliffs with a population of only two hundred. There used to be a thousand. Those who remain live in the lone village of Mekoryuk on the north coast and face the collision of tradition and modernity in a particularly acute way—yet continue to thrive and persevere as a community.

A number of factors converge to make the island a study of identity in the face of constant transition:  a generation of Cup'ig youth navigating two cultures, a tight-knit Christian community combating decades of substance abuse issues, a threatened subsistence lifestyle and unique language, the rapid onset of social media and connected devices, severe climate change, emigration in pursuit of opportunity, and a reindeer slaughterhouse under construction that promises wider economic prosperity.

The series is a work in progress. The images below were taken during November 2017 and March 2018 as part of an ongoing yearlong project.

 
 

 
 

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W I N T E R