On July 25, 2013, Kivalina will host an open house to exhibit works of the Re-Locate Project (www.relocate-ak.org). There will be a project review at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage on July 30, 2013, with members of the Kivalina city and tribal councils attending.
The Re-Locate Project is a multidisciplinary group of partners working with Kivalina to support a community-led and culturally specific relocation process. The international collaborative has brought fifteen people including architects, urban planners, water engineers, artists, anthropologists, and social justice advocates to the village for a two-week camp. The four groups represent six countries and three universities.
Together with the city and tribal councils, the people of Kivalina, and representatives from governmental agencies, Re-Locate is making the social, political, and environmental issues related to relocation visible to global audiences; supporting community discussion and exchange; locating, connecting, and educating new relocation partners; creating spaces where people in Kivalina can share original media and ideas about local ways of life; and developing an infrastructure for managing local to global networks of support.
The Applied Foreign Affairs Lab, University of Applied Arts Vienna; Architects without Borders Austria; the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London; and anthropologist Rev. Joshua Griffin will be in Kivalina from July 12 to July 30. Architects without Borders Austria is designing a new re-location center; the Applied Foreign Affairs Lab is visualizing data related to water supply, distribution, consumption, and disposal in the village; and the Centre for Research Architecture is building a model that maps the spatial and political relationships underlying the village’s relocation process.
This July marks the second in a series of Re-Locate Project camps in Kivalina that identify village relocation as one of the most pressing issues in the state of Alaska. The first camp, which built solidarity and engagement with villagers, was curated by artist and architect Michael Gerace and produced by the Alaska Design Forum, an Anchorage-based nonprofit, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. The camps build off the knowledge and experience of those previous and shape the intentions of those that will follow.
Formed in response to the stalled village relocation process, the relationships built between the Re-Locate Project and the people of Kivalina are creating new possibilities for a community-led and culturally specific relocation.