The Harpooner

PhotographerKatie Orlinsky
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

Whaling crews on the sea ice outside of Barrow, Alaska during the spring bowhead whale hunt. Quincy Adams, an Iñupiat harpooner, surveys the horizon in a sealskin canoe surrounded by a "snow wall" built to camouflage and conceal the hunters from their highly intelligent prey. The entire village of Barrow participates in whaling, and one whale can feed the whole community for a year. However this ancient practice is under threat. Scientists call Alaska “ground zero” for climate change and for Alaska’s indigenous people living in isolated, rural areas, climate change threatens to bring the end to their way of life. Due to warming weather and melting sea ice across the Alaskan Arctic, hunting conditions have become dangerous and unpredictable, animals are dying off and migrating in new patterns, and the communities who rely on them for nutrition, income, and spiritual practices are being pressured in countless ways.

About Photographer

Katie Orlinsky is a photographer and cinematographer from New York City. She received a bachelors degree in Political Science and Latin American Studies from Colorado College and a Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. Katie’s long-held interest in international politics and a desire to raise awareness on social issues originally led her to photography, and after college she moved to Mexico where she got her start as a photojournalist. Since then Katie has photographed personal projects, assignments and documentaries all over the world.          Katie regularly works for the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera America and a variety of international magazines and non-profit organizations such as the Too Young to Wed organization and campaign to end child marriage around the world. She has won numerous awards such as the 2014 ADC Young Guns Award, the 2013 PDN 30’s “New and Emerging Photographers to Watch," The Alexia Foundation 2012 Student Grant, The 2011 POYI Emerging Vision Incentive Award, the 2010 Prix Ani-PixPalace and the 2009 Coup de Couer at Visa Pour L’image. Katie is represented by the Levine/Leavitt artists' agency.