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Going To Alaska

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Fairbanks photography conference focuses on diverse perspectives

was written by Robyne, KUAC — Fairbanks , 2019-09-13 02:18:02

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Diversity and minority perspectives are themes of a conference this weekend in Fairbanks. About 90 photographers from the Northwestern states will visit Alaska for demonstrations, workshops and some events that are free and open to the public. The Society for Photographic Education Northwest Chapter’s event is called In Our Own Voices: Culture/Identity.

Jason Lazarus prepares the UAF darkroom for a special techniques workshop at The Society for Photographic Education Northwest Chapter’s In Our Own Voices: Culture/Identity conference. (Photo by Robyne/KUAC)

Standing over the tray of chemicals in the darkroom at University of Alaska Fairbanks, Jason Lazarus is preparing for a special techniques workshop. He is the conference chair for the Culture / Identity event.

“The history of photography is very mono-dimensional, traditionally being told by white males,” he said. “And those voices, although distinct, don’t show how other cultures see the same story.”

He says minority representation is not only important in front of the lens, but behind it as well.

“It is incredibly difficult, especially when I was making a History of Photography course, to find enough voices that were different,” he said. “I wanted to do that for this conference, by bringing different voices to the table.”

Lazarus had that in mind when he programmed the keynote speakers. On Friday, Brian Adams, known internationally for his portraits of Alaskans in place, will speak at Schaible Auditorium at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Lorenzo Triburgo will talk about his work with LGBTQ issues. He is known for his series of heroic portraits of trans community members and working on a piece about Stonewall.

“When you are exposed to stories you can relate to, you are able to make that creative process your own,” Lazarus said. “That strengthens you, that emboldens your approach to art.”

While showing Alaskans new ideas they rarely have access to, the conference was also designed to provide visitors with an Alaskan experience.

“It allows them to connect with Nature, also the indigenous cultures of the region in a place that many people coming up for this conference haven’t ever been,” Lazarus said.

The conference offers more than 40 sessions by artists, educators and imagemakers over three days. Both keynote addresses are open to the public.

Click here to view session details and to register for the conference.

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Visiting Alaska

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Travel agency recommended attractions for anyone touring Alaska includes

Denali National Park and Preserve. Originally developed to save wildlife, the colors and scenery are nevertheless dazzling. Denali contains 160 miles of the Alaska Range and dominating this sky line is North America’s largest peak; 20,320 foot Mount McKinley easily one of the most amazing views in Alaska, if not the world. Yet it’s not just the mountain that makes Denali National Park an exceptional place. The park is where you can thirty seven species of mammals, including lynx, marmots and Dall sheep, to foxes and snowshoe hares, and one hundred thirty different bird species have been identified here, such as the extraordinary golden eagle. The majority of visitors, however, want to see 4 animals in particular: moose, caribou, wolf and everyone’s favorite: the grizzly, bear. Denali, unlike the majority of wilderness areas in the country, it’s not necessary to be a backpacker to see this kind of wildlife, they can be seen right next to the famous Denali Park road. Not surprisingly then, visitors come here in droves; the park is a favorite destination, attracting 432,000 visitors annually. Over the years the National Park Service (NPS) has developed exceptional visitor-management methods, including closing its only road to most vehicles. Due to this fact Denali National Park is still the excellent wilderness it was two decades previously. The entry has evolved, however the park itself has not, and any brown bear meandering on the tundra ridge continue to provide the exact same quiet thrill as when the park very first opened up in 1917. Despite the fact that generations of Athabascans had wandered through what’s at present the park, the first permanent settlement was set up in 1905, when a gold miners’ rush established the town of Kantishna. A year later, naturalist and hunter Charles Sheldon was taken aback by the beauty of the land and mortified at the careless abandon of the miners and big-game hunters. Sheldon returned in 1907 and explored the region along with guide Harry Karstens in an effort to create boundaries for a proposed national park. Sheldon was successful and the location was organized as Mount McKinley National Park in 1917 with Karstens serving as the park’s first superintendent. As a result of the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the park was increased to more than 6 million acres and re-named Denali National Park and Preserve. Denali now consists of an area slightly larger than the state of Massachusetts and is generally rated as one of Alaska’s top points of interest.

a vacation in Denali National Park in Alaska, America's icebox

A Visit To Denali National Park in Alaska