The Last Days of Shishmaref (NL)
Photographer Dana Lixenberg stayed in Shishmaref for several weeks during the winter and summer of 2007. She explored the intricate relationship between the inhabitants and the rough, bleak and beautiful landscape that surrounds them. Using her 4×5-inch field camera makes the act of photographing more formal than hand-held photography, resulting in an intimate collaboration between the photographer and her subjects and in carefully composed still-lives. By combining portraiture, details of interiors, village tableaux, sea- and landscapes, Lixenberg creates a nuanced and complex portrait of this close-knit community, a community balancing between a past rooted in tradition and an uncertain future. The book, loosely grouped around the different families living for generations on the island, contains over 80 images by Lixenberg. Together with texts on subjects like relocation, subsistence, identity, modern life and infrastructure the photography draws a stark image of the island and her inhabitants. The myth, depicted by film director Jan Louter, has been passed down from generation to generation, telling of the emergence (‘it all started with a strip of sand’) and disappearance (‘swallowed up by the sea’) of the island of Sarichef.
Dana Lixenberg (1964) lives and works in New York and Amsterdam. She studied photography at the London College of Printing (1984–1986) and at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam (1987-1989). In 1993 she was awarded a project grant by the Fonds BKVB (The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture) for a series of portraits at the Imperial Courts Housing Project in Los Angeles, CA. She soon received commissions from a wide variety of magazines such as the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Newsweek, Vrij Nederland and Vibe, among many others. Many of these collaborations continue to this date. All the while, Lixenberg continued working on long‐term personal projects, mostly focused on individuals and communities on the margins of society. She was the subject of a documentary titled Dana Lixenberg: Thru Dutch Eyes in 1999, and in 2005 she was featured in an episode of the documentary series Hollands Zicht (Dutch Vision), both produced for Dutch television. Her publication Jeffersonville, Indiana was awarded Best Dutch Book Design, 2005. Her most recent publication, The Last Days of Shishmaref, has been awarded Best Dutch Book Design, 2008.
Editor(s):Bas VroegeOther author(s):Eefje Blankevoort (1978) studied History at the University of Amsterdam. Between 2002 and 2006 she regularly spent time in Iran where she studied, complied an archive for the International Institute of Social History and worked on her book Stiekem kan hier alles (You can do anything here in secret). Since then, Eefje has developed into an all-rounder in journalism, writing articles and books, as well as creating interactive projects, exhibitions and documentary films. Besides her work as a journalist, Eefje is a committee member of the Mezrab Storytelling Centre, and Grensloos Geluid (Sound without Borders).Photography:Dana LixenbergDesign:Mevis & Van Deursen
Edition:1stPublisher(s):Paradox, Episode Publishers