The Last Whale Hunt
October 17, 2016 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Above the Arctic Circle in Alaska, a half-day's journey by snowmobile from the nearest paved road or tree, a village called Kivalina sits on a slip of permanently frozen earth bracketed by water — a lagoon on one side and the Chukchi Sea on the other. Everything on Kivalina is hard: there are no roads, few jobs, and rising waters that will soon swallow the island whole. But life can get better if the villagers catch a whale. It hasn't happened since 1994, but that's no reason to give up. This just might be the year.

Further Reading and Viewing
* Science Friday:
In 2008, the Inupiat village of Kivalina, Alaska sued 24 fossil fuel companies for the destruction of its homeland, a seven-mile barrier island on Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. The cause of the destruction, the village contended, was climate change. Without thick winter sea ice to buffer Kivalina from storms, surges have ripped through the island’s seawalls and taken out as much as 70 feet of coastline at a time. The village lost its federal court case in 2013, and this week announced it would not re-file in state court. Meanwhile, scientists estimate the island will be underwater by 2025.

* Re-Locate Kivalina

* KUOW-FM Seattle: This Alaskan Village will be Underwater in 10 Years.

* Washington Post: The remote Alaskan village that needs to be relocated due to climate change

* PRI: Will these Alaska villagers be America's first climate change refugees?

* LA Times: This is climate change: Alaskan villagers struggle as island is chewed up by the sea

* Flickr: Kivalina, Alaska

* KTVA CBS 11 News: Frontiers 30: Kivalina, an Uncertain Future (youtube)

* U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit: Relocating Kivalina

In February 2016, Kivalina, a feature-length documentary (funded through Kickstarter) by Gina Abatemarco and Zoe White was presented at the Berlin Film Festival.
* Official Site
* Trailer
* A very short excerpt can be seen at the Berlinale website.
* Background from NPR Berlin
* The Independent: Island on the Edge: Gina Abatemarco’s Kivalina
* An interview with the director at ScreenDaily
* Berlinale 2016: Director Gina Abatemarco on her Beautiful, Haunting Doc Kivalina
posted by zarq (3 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Nicely done zarq.

Aarigaa as they say in Iñupiaq.
posted by spitbull at 6:34 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

And so it begins.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:16 PM on October 17, 2016

There was a poignant moment in the video clip:

"If they [the whales] die, the animals that feed on them are gonna die. They're gonna starve to death. ... or move away."

Which I found nice in its surreptitious return of the "human animal" to the food-chain, and the return of the biological imperative. That for all the "meaning" of a tradition and culture there is of course one simple answer in the face of lack of food: " to move away".
posted by mary8nne at 6:46 AM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

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