Maktak and Gasoline: The People of Point Hope

  • Date: Aug 21, 2018 - Sep 15, 2018
    Recurring daily
  • Admission: Included with museum admission
  • Location: Anchorage Museum

Featuring the photography of Ellis Doeven, this exhibition and publication focuses on the community of Point Hope, a small Inupiaq village in northwest Alaska and features photography by Ellis Doeven. Its title refers to the smell of the village where there is a distinct mixture in the air of maktak (Inupiat for whale) and gasoline. It is a metaphor for the old and the new, which remain solidly connected in Point Hope. This exhibition presents a portrait of the area and its people amid this push-pull among cultures and eras. Point Hope is the oldest continuously inhabited village on the North American continent. The Inupiat have lived here for more than 10,000 years. It is remote - accessible only by air. Contemporary Point Hope is a community of 900 people, modern amenities and ancient roots. The disparity between a linear, development-hungry Western culture and a cyclical and nature-honoring Indigenous culture resonates throughout the region. In many ways, Point Hope is still in a fight for survival – of language, culture and identity. Doeven, a Danish photographer, has been photographing Point Hope since she first visited in 2008. She was an Anchorage Museum Polar Lab artist-in-residence in June 2018 when she photographed Point Hope for this project. Although she now lives in Amsterdam, she still visits Point Hope annually.

Photo credit: Ellis Doeven

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