Where I'm At

Kivalina, Alaska

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What city do you live in? What neighborhood?

I live in downtown Anchorage, Alaska and stay with with my uncle on the east side of the spit when I visit Kivalina.

What are some adjectives that describe your neighborhood?

Very rural. Kivalina has less than 400 people living there, most of them native Alaskans.

How long have you lived there, and what brought you there?

I lived in Kivalina as a baby but grew up in Anchorage. I went there in 2005 for my grandmother's funeral and realized I needed to make this my photography project.

What is your favorite thing about this place? Your least favorite?

The strong family connection—everyone up there is so nice and welcoming. In one day you can be invited to about five houses for dinner. The politics are rough though—my uncle, Bert Adams, is the mayor of Kivalina and is constantly preoccupied with finding a way to fund the city's relocation.

Do you feel that you belong there?

Alaska is in my blood and Kivalina put it there. I feel more comfortable there than anywhere else in the world I have been.

What is the most common misconception about where you live?

That we live in igloos. We don't!

What is a special fact about your city that you have to live there to know?

The old native man on the back of the Alaska Airlines planes was from Kivalina. His name? Chester Civic.

What aspect of your city do you secretly love?

I love the cold.

Anything else you'd like to add?


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1 response

  • Vanessa Kubach

    Vanessa Kubach (Deleted) said (22 Jan 2009):

    great story!

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