See the hard-won equilibrium of Alaska

A compilation of work by Alaskan photographers explores life in the North.

  • Iceberg at low tide. Prince William Sound, Alaska.

    Courtesy of Clark Mishler
  • Winfred Obruk. Shishmaref, Alaska.

    Courtesy of Brian Adams
  • Swarming mosquitoes in the spring.

    Patrick Ziegler
  • Automobile decoration during the Fur Rendezvous parade in Anchorage, Alaska.

    Courtesy of Clark Mishler
  • Alaska Landscape No. 3 at the State Fair in Palmer, Alaska.

    Courtesy of Clark Mishler
  • Dipnetting on the Kenai River.

    Courtesy of Oscar Avellaneda-Cruz
  • Passing time between tides while dipnetting on the Kenai River.

    Courtesy of Oscar Avellaneda-Cruz
  • Yup'ik dog house in Kwethluk, Alaska.

    Courtesy of Clark Mishler
  • Ice ferns in Anchorage, Alaska.

    Courtesy of Kirsten Anderson
  • Gutting and processing sockeye salmon on the Kenai River.

    Courtesy of Oscar Avellaneda-Cruz

 

In Up Here, a book of photos, essays and poems curated by the Anchorage Museum, the North is a way of living rather than a latitudinal state. With photographs from Brian Adams, Acacia Johnson, Oscar Avellaneda-Cruz, Clark Mishler and others, Up Here zooms in on the contours of Northern lives amid landscapes that could seem deserted from a distance. But there is always movement: People are dwarfed by iceberg chunks, gut sockeye salmon and play cards on the banks of the Kenai River. Humans and nature seem to exist in hard-won equilibrium. In both photographs and text, climate change’s oncoming impacts on the vulnerable region appear. “Maps have long showed the Arctic at the edge — up at the top, far away from the center of humanity,” Julie Decker, one of the curators, writes in her opening essay. “Today the Arctic is at the edge of discovering the limits and the glory of human resilience.” 

Up Here,
Edited by Julie Decker and Kirsten J. Anderson
195 pages, hardcover: $44.95
The University of Washington Press, 2016