Voices from Season Two of Threshold

Meet a few of the dozens of the people we've interviewed so far.

This content is embargoed until 5/30/18.


Aqqalooraq Heilman-Lennart | Sisimiut, Greenland

photo by Amy Martin

photo by Amy Martin

Aqqalooraq calls himself a "failed Greenlandic" because he isn't interested in hunting, fishing or other subsistence activities. Instead, he practices his bass, reads philosophy, and works on his English and Japanese by watching YouTube videos. Like most people I spoke with in the Arctic, he is very knowledge about U.S. politics, which led me to ask him how it feels when he hears people denying the science around climate change.

Nora Kuzuguk | Shishmaref, Alaska

photo by Nick Mott

Nora Kuzuguk has lived through huge changes on the tiny island of Shishmaref, Alaska. As a child, she visited with the last remaining families to live in underground sod houses. She remembers how the sound of an airplane would send all of the children running from the school to watch it land. Now, ocean waves are taking huge bites out of the narrow island, as global warming reduces the sea ice that used to serve as protection from erosion. Nora and all of the people of Shishmaref need to get to safer ground -- but they want to relocate together, as a community. This is a long and costly process, but Nora and most others we spoke with in Shishmaref believe their community needs to stays intact in order for the next generation to thrive.

Mary Grace Eula | Svalbard, Norway

photo by Amy Martin

Mary Grace Eula travels north from the Philippines every year to work on a tourist boat in Svalbard, Norway. She is 24 years old and plans to start her own floating restaurant in her home country someday. Increasingly, the Arctic attracts people from around the world, hoping to find their fortunes in oil, natural gas or gold, or simply better their lives through seasonal labor.

Gideon James | Arctic Village, Alaska

photo by Amy Martin

Gideon James was born in Arctic Village, Alaska and is a member of the Gwich'in Nation. While checking his fishing nets, we discuss the possibility of oil and gas development on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Porcupine caribou herd uses the coastal plain as their calving grounds; Gideon's community depends on the Porcupine herd for survival. Warning: Gideon uses some salty language when he finds an especially big fish in his net.

Amanda Kernell | Umeå, Sweden

Amanda Kernell is the director of Sami Blood, a film exploring identity, racism and the effects of colonialism in the Sami community. She is the first Sami woman to produce a feature film. Sami Blood was featured at Sundance, and Kernell was named Best Young Director at the Venice Film Festival in 2016.

I interviewed her after the film was screened in her hometown of Umeå, Sweden. The land behind her in the photo below was once a Sami reindeer herding area.

Kim Holmén | Svalbard, Norway

photo by Amy Martin

Kim Holmén is the international director of the Norwegian Polar Institute. He works with high-level policy makers from around the world on polar issues. I spoke with him outside of the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard.