Katie Orlinsky | Chasing Winter

Country of origin: United States
Project location: United States
Program: Magnum Foundation Fund
Year: 2016

“Chasing Winter” is a photographic project that explores how climate change is challenging communities across Alaska, and transforming the relationship between people, animals, and land. Scientists call Alaska “ground zero” for climate change, and 2014 was the state’s warmest year on record. But climate change in Alaska means more than just warm weather; it means snow that arrives later in the fall, a spring thaw that happens sooner, vanishing sea ice, retreating glaciers, an explosion of wildfires, intense storms, and diminishing natural habitats pressuring hundreds of local animal species along with the people who depend on them.

Across the Alaskan Arctic, villages are eroding away. There are currently twelve communities that need to move to higher ground. Among them are a handful of villages that must be completely relocated as soon as possible.

What is happening in Alaska can be seen as early indications for the rest of the world’s future, and the survival of entire communities and cultures are at stake. In depth documentary photography on the “front-line” of climate change, while people are engaged and taking action on the issue, is more important now than ever.