Ellis Doeven: Maktak and Gasoline
In 2008, Ellis Doeven traveled to Alaska to take pictures for an article about Shell, which had just bought drilling permits in the Arctic Ocean. She ended up in Point Hope, a small Iñupiaq village in Alaska, became intrigued by the community and decided to go back for a report on whaling. During her second stay she fell in love with a whaler. They had a child together and that is how she stayed connected to the village until today.
The result of her return is the photo project Maktak and Gasoline, about the community of Point Hope, the oldest permanently inhabited village on the North American continent. The location of the community of 900 people is remote. Access is only possible with the plane. The climate is extreme. Food is always collected by hunting animals that pass by on their migration. Because of this, daily life is not easy in the Arctic, something that Doeven shows in her images.
Point Hope is now a modern community with an old core. After contact with Western culture, the community has experienced a roller coaster of changes and developments that bring solace, but also lead to loss of language, culture and identity. The clash between the linear culture of the West, always in search of development, and the cyclic culture of the Inuit, who strive to live in harmony with nature, has caused damage.
Maktak and Gasoline
17,5 x 23,4 x 2,5 cm