The Diomedes are two remote islands in the middle of the Bering Strait. Separated by two miles of water and the international dateline, these two dots in the Arctic are where Asia and America meet. In the past, both islands were inhabited by a common native community, which shared land, water, language and family. During the Cold War, the Russian government evacuated Big Diomede; relocating the native population to the mainland and turned the island into a military base. The divide came to be known as the “Ice Curtain.”
Little Diomedians were left alone in their tiny village, looking west towards their deserted brother island. Today, ninety native people still live in Little Diomede. They hunt, fish and eat what the island provides. But they face an uncertain future due to climate change, increased arctic shipping, hunting regulations, and a younger generation dreaming about a life in mainland.
By exploring identity, resilience, the coming of age, the balance between tradition and modern life in a declining civilization many questions arise about my own culture and identity. The relativity of remoteness and connectedness…
This tiny cold island, far from our conceivable horizons and minds, might be at the same time such a good allegory of our conflicted world.