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Brandon Thibodeaux October 10, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.

Shishmaref, Alaska 2006

Brandon Thibodeaux (b. 1981, United States) is a member of the New York based photography collective, MJR. Following his university studies in photojournalism and international development he now resides in Dallas, Texas, where he regularly contributes to the Financial Times Weekend Magazine, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a member of the Getty Reportage 2009-10 Emerging Talent, and the Eddie Adams XIX alumnus.

About the Photograph:

“This image is from my first real project endeavor during my senior year of college.  In August 2006 I traveled 120 miles northwest of Nome, Alaska, landing in the small island village of Shishmaref.  Its roughly 550 Inupiaq residents faced a looming migration due to the severe erosion plaguing the tiny island.  Climate change was keeping protective sea ice from forming around its shoreline leaving its brittle sand and permafrost foundation vulnerable against harsh winter storms. I was taken aback by the elements of pop culture that I found, like 2 Pac posters, and video game consoles, intertwined with the community’s more traditional ways of life.  Shortly after this image was taken we feasted on caribou steaks and Akutaq – otherwise known as Eskimo ice cream made from whipped caribou fat and seal oil, mixed with fresh picked salmon berries.”