Kivalina is one of several Alaska Native villages experiencing coastal erosion due to climate change that is changing the shape of the village indefinitely. Scientists have estimated that the roughly 380-person Arctic village that is only accessible by boat or plane has been said to have a decade or less before it will be uninhabitable, as the permafrost is melting and storms and the sea eat away at its coastline. Kivalina is estimated to be completely underwater by 2025.
Already, the village has experienced serious changes as a result of the Arctic’s rapid warming. Food supplies are changing. It is now difficult to hunt for whale due to changes in the ice, and whale has historiclaly been a staple in subsistence-based Inupiaq villages like Kivalina. The ice is freezing later in the year and breaking up earlier.
A new location has been selected for the new school about 8 miles away, and so this project, which will continue during and after the relocation, seeks to document this place both to bring awareness to the issues of Alaska's indigenous coastal people as well as to document a place that is changing rapidly.