October 26, 2015
Photographer traces the North’s last living nomads
Dutch photographer and filmmaker Jeroen Toirkens has documented the raw reality of the last living nomads of the Northern Hemisphere since 1999. He has followed the lives of various nomadic tribes in Central Asia, Russia, Mongolia and the Arctic region where globalization, drought, poverty and climate change make it increasingly difficult for these people to maintain their traditional way of life.
Toirkens continues this work during his Polar Lab artist residency. This fall he traveled to one of the most isolated places in Alaska, Little Diomede, bringing with him photographs of that area from the museum’s collection to share with the people he met as a way to invite conversation and reflection on the community, sharing perspectives on hunting, family, and traditions.
He will create a photographic essay from his experience on the island. The museum also hopes to work with Toirkens on a project to document the boreal forests around the world. Toirkens’ photographs will be included in a Polar Lab exhibition slated for Summer 2016.