Breakfast with Stephen Frost by Ryan Carter
Ryan Carter, a staff reporter for The National newspaper in the United Arab Emirates who has traveled and photographed communities in vast regions of the world, explores Old Crow, a remote Arctic community with a shrinking population in the Yukon, Canada with his submission to Hey, Hot Shot!
With a declining population of less than three hundred, the Vuntut Gwitchin of Old Crow have hunted migratory caribou for thousands of years, and share an intimate relationship with these transient animals. Twice a year, the Porcupine Caribou Herd travels through this community to and from their calving grounds on "1002 lands" - a coastal region of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. The 1002 lands are an unprotected portion of ANWR being explored for oil and natural gas. It is estimated over 6 billion barrels of oil exist below these Arctic plains. The controversial debate to develop this region has burdened the American government since this land became a federally protected area in 1960....My project doesn't confront or explore ANWR, its ecology, the 1002 lands, or the oil industry. Instead, the photography aims to quietly document a small First Nations population, its fading traditions and dependency on ancestral lands, all threatened by North America's need for energy.
Carter's series brings to mind the images of Fall 2007 Hot Shot and 20x200 artist, Birthe Piontek, whose recent series, The Idea of North, also took her to the Canadian Yukon. Her work also explores those who live in a territory less trodden, with focus on individuation found in people's quest for the glory of imagined remoteness.
Carter's camera also finds and intimate place with the Old Crow community, whether out hunting caribou or in a resident's kitchen. Work on his website from Guatemala, the United Arab Emirates, and the Eastern Democratic Congo, also show how Carter seamlessly enters geographies of transition, documenting communities with an observant eye. Carter has completed assignments for The New York Times Magazine and International Herald Tribune, among others, has also been a nominated for a World Press Photo Award and been awarded a National Geographic Grant, participated in The Eddie Adams Workshop, Barnstorm XVIII, and has been selected for numerous group exhibitions in both the United States and abroad.