bar cafe fabriken

musical chairs.jpg

Having re-opened Furillen three weeks ago, I thought it would be good to bring back Bar Cafe Fabriken, which previous visitors to the sim might recall from spring 2016. The bar hosted a few events – some Blues nights, a beach party, and a tribute to Prince. I like the building a lot – it was put together by Micky Siamendes, who wrote a nice blog about it here. We made one or two changes this time around, and I think the ambience and decor – including this motley of chairs on the decking outside – suit Furillen quite well.

There are no grand plans for events, I am not the world’s greatest party organiser (or party goer, for that matter). But if any visitors want to take a turn as deejay, get in touch, you are more than welcome. Otherwise, we’ll host events as and when the mood takes us.

Furillen in motion

poster try

Furillen has always been a sim with connections to Second Life photography – not only through its large Flickr group, but also through a number of exhibitions that the sim has hosted over the years. The first, Shoot the Shooters, was held in 2016 and consisted of a series of portraits by Moon Edenbaum of various Second Life photographers. Instead of simply hanging the portraits as one would in a real gallery, we projected them onto a wall, one by one, in front of a ‘live’ audience of visitors. It made for an interesting experience.

Following Moon’s show, the sim hosted a number of other exhibitions, including some featuring real life photography – such as BirdsVagabonds and Shadows and Reflections by Laura, and A Journey Around Gotland by Gabrielle Swindlehurst – as well as shows by Ini Inaka and Imani Nayar. In addition, there have been exhibitions of collections of pictures by visitors, such as Furillen in Snow.

When reviving Furillen a couple of weeks ago, I thought it might be interesting to bring some art back to the sim. And so it is that a new show opens today – a collection of fifteen pictures called Furillen in Motion, by PixelBeing. Known in-world as VictoriaVicks, PixelBeing has long been one of my favourite Second Life photographers; indeed she has taken pictures of many of the sims I have been involved with, always coming up with some striking and unusual ways of representing and exploring what has been built. She works almost exclusively in black and white, and her pictures are distinctive for the way they seem to show their subject in motion, as if caught within a mere slither of time – hence the title of this exhibition. I also like the way her pictures use highly unusual perspectives. I have often found myself having to guess exactly where on the sim a particular picture has been taken, as in this example from Rummu

saturday

PixelBeing has been taking pictures in Second Life for around two years. When I asked her for a few words about her favoured style of photography, she told me this …

It was, as it is now, a catching moment, a tune, a feeling and a mood of that exact instant that covers the edit as it is for every person who snaps anything in or outside secondlife or so I think. 

As for Furillen, it’s the only sim I can’t get enough of taking pictures of. It’s emptiness full of so many details always conquered my interest in it. I swear one day I will travel there to see it with my very own eyes live breathing in its air and will have a huge smile all the way around there.

There won’t be an opening party for this one, it’s simply there – right now – for visitors to walk around. Unlike other exhibitions at the sim, Furillen in Motion is located in the large concrete bunker (built by Megan Prumier) in the middle of the sim. We thought that these pictures – all taken during the two weeks since the sim re-opened – really suit that space.  I hope that you enjoy it.

One week at Furillen

three chairs final

Furillen re-opened a week ago and has been busy ever since. The sim isn’t just popular; it actually means quite a lot to many people who have spent many hours there in the past. I was unsure about re-opening it, because sometimes it’s best not to look back. But having watched the sim being re-populated again this week, it simply occurs to me that Furillen will just keep on being the backdrop to whatever its visitors want to make of it – that’s the way it’s always been. There have been new visitors, too, and it has been interesting to see their reactions to this strangely magnetic place. Thanks to those of you who signed the guestbook, and to busy bloggers who have written reviews.

Furillen was always a photographers’ sim, and here are some highlights from the week on Flickr …

The hermit

"I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It's so fuckin' heroic." - George Carlin

Furillen

Furillen

The world is so much better....

Furillen

Mr Bojangles

Yoga Rabbit @ Furillen

Furillen

Furillen 08

Derrière les fenêtres

https://flic.kr/p/2hxgQJN

wandering_world694

Without you i'm nothing....@ Furrillen

Origins

The Wichita Lineman is Needed!

searching for the light

Everyone's time is limited ...

ꓭA⅃

whiteout

am coming...and after me the Hell

Furillen 01

[ On ira tous les deux jusqu'au bout ]

Feeling Saachi

Imperfection_wb_Furillen

.:: Made in Heaven ::.

~Back at Furillen~

Warm Snow

Villains of Circumstance

I'd tear my very soul to make you mine.

In solitude the mind gains strength ...

wandering_world695

Preserve your memories

.:: Trois Gymnopedies ::.

'Love of Life'

There is a World Outside

Furillen 2019 V

[ janitors day off ]

dans les étoiles - dreaming

Foretop

a snowy line...

You cannot find peace by avoiding life

The Camper

Lonely buildings 2

Furillen 2019 VI

Stored for winter

The Beauty In the Chair- Thanks ϻïă

[ iron skies ]

...

Melancholy

back Home

Life

Furillen

. endless .

Graphic Line at Furillen...

Arcole

Cafe View

Best Friends

Furillen -3

frozen summertime memories...

White Out at Furillen

Furillen Crow -  Perspective II

And there's love

Furillen (Gotland, Suécia)

Bringing colour to the beige

The other side.

Feed The Birds

2019 10 23   ::  why do birds suddenly appear?  ::

♥

Feeling sad

Furillen - Heavy Weather

Together and apart

bad luck

“There is a voice that doesn't use words. Listen.”

Mars talks about √enus... @Furillen

... best seat in the house...

'The Enigmatic Furillen'

Radiohead @ Furillen

F U R I L L E N

Furillen -5

SNOWFLAKES @ Furillen

Hey You!

Way of the cross

in the emptiness of the chair there is life.

https://flic.kr/p/2hxgQJN

Once again, Furillen seems to bring out the best in SL photography. Thanks for everyone who has been posting. Keep them coming …

As for the sim’s future, I am keeping an open mind. And I have some Furillen things planned, so closure won’t be on the cards for a while yet.

Love of Life

gallery poster

There is a retrospective exhibition of my pictures starting at the DixMix gallery tomorrow, the landmark is here. After spending years politely refusing to exhibit my pictures, and with Furillen re-opening yesterday, some of you might be asking what’s going on.

I am not usually given to public statements about my private affairs, but in this instance I feel it is appropriate to ‘clear the air’ and avoid misunderstanding. For over a year now, I have been living with cancer. I spent most of last winter receiving chemotherapy, and it was brutal. The treatment worked, but nothing is forever and my ‘struggle’ will be ongoing. During illness one inevitably spends time looking back and reflecting, and although DixMix had (and still has) no idea about my circumstances – hardly anyone within SL does know – a ‘retrospective’ exhibition seemed like something I could and should be doing right now. Likewise, it felt right to re-open the sim I always felt would be my ‘legacy’ in SL, and which I am incredibly fond of.

I am passing this news on not to elicit sympathy, nor – God forbid – to suggest that I’m going to expire any time soon. But my motives have occasionally been misconstrued in the past – sometimes quite hurtfully – and I want to avoid any misunderstanding now. I am all too aware that cancer touches many, possibly all, of us at some time in our lives. I am also aware that many of you who are reading this may have gone through, or are going through, a similar experience to mine, either directly or indirectly with friends or family. To all of you – solidarity.

Furillen started out on a region called ‘Love of Life’ and that always felt to me to represent what the sim was about – for all of its melancholic atmosphere, it was intended to be a place where visitors could reflect, take time out, and find their own peace. One of my favourite pictures carries a title which I believe expresses this sentiment well. The words – ‘nothing can surpass the mystery of stillness’ – are from EE Cummings:

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surpass

Furillen revived

furillen is back brighter copy

While I take a break from making new sims, I have revived the sim where it all began – Furillen. The landmark is here.

Furillen first opened at the beginning of October in 2015: it was announced by posting this picture in Flickr. The building process continued to be ongoing through that winter as refinements were added – including a pier and utility shed made by KT Syakumi and two buildings – a huge concrete bunker and a smaller building that serves as a cafe – by Megan Prumier. These were all based on photographs of the original location – Furillen is the site of an abandoned limestone quarry on the Gotland peninsula in Sweden – and were intended to help realise my original aim, which was to replicate the real place.

The sim subsequently went through a number of iterations – it was turned into a virtual celebration of Radiohead and Pink Floyd, as well as a series of Star Wars locations – that were punctuated by partial rebuilds and redesigns of the “original” Furillen itself. The sim eventually closed – albeit with a promise that I would revive it some day – in October 2017.

This latest revival of the sim consists of a hybrid of the different versions, focusing on my own personal favourite bits. Most notably I have used the first hotel building – taken from Soy and “decorated” in a style quite unlike any hotel I have ever stayed in – as well as the original, highly distinctive, line of trees. The old gallery building is back, along with the Gotland ferry. There is also a new communications bunker – acknowledging Furillen’s association with military radar surveillance.

And it’s snowing, which always seemed to the “right” Furillen weather.

For photographers, there is an already large Furillen Flickr group, and I would be pleased to see visitors adding their names to the guestbook. And given that I am funding this on my own, donations would definitely be welcome! I cannot say how long the sim will stay open, but it definitely won’t be for long.

For those who remember the sim from before, I wish you a nostalgic return. For anyone who has never seen it, I hope you like what you find.

 

 

Goodbye North Brother

North Brother Island was open for much of the summer and it now seems like the right time to be closing. We enjoyed building this sim and – as ever – would like to thank everyone who visited, took pictures, left comments, and wrote generous reviews. The sim will close from Wednesday 4 September.

Usually at this time there is speculation about “what next?”. I’m sorry to say that the answer for the time being is “nothing”. We are taking a break from sim building in order to focus on other things. It’s possible that we will be back later on, but for now, our run of “replica” sims that reconstruct real places – Furillen, Khodovarikha, La Digue du Braek, Isle of May, Black Bayou Lake, Rummu, Chesapeake Bay, Ukivok, and North Brother Island – will come to an end. We enjoyed it!

Farewell …

North Brother Island

nb09

North Brother Island is situated in New York City‘s East River between the mainland Bronx and Rikers Island. Now uninhabited and abandoned, the island is the inspiration for our new sim, which opens today. The landmark is here.

nb map.jpg

The island took its name from Adriaen Block, a Dutchman who explored the Atlantic Coast between 1611 and 1614. He named the two islands – north and south – “de Gesellen,” which translates as “the wayfarers” or the “journeymen” or “brethren” – hence “brothers.”

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North Brother Island has a fascinating and complex history. It was home to a tuberculosis hospital – Riverside Hospital, which moved here from Roosevelt Island in 1885 – that closed in the late 1930s.

northbrother_1951_cg.jpg

nb12.jpg

riverside

The hospital has seen more than its fair share of tragic stories. Its most famous inmate was surely Mary Mallon, or “Typhoid Mary” (1869-1938).

mallon

Mallon, an Irish-American cook, was the first person in the United States to be identified as an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever. She was presumed to have infected 51 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook. Mallon refused to accept that she was infectious, and was twice forcibly isolated by public health authorities. She spent the last 23 years of her life – from 1915 until 1938 – in isolation at Riverside Hospital.

mallon 2

Mallon’s case seems especially tragic today. She was undoubtedly a victim of prejudice – she was both Irish and a woman; she was unmarried; she was a domestic servant – and was punished severely and repeatedly for something over which she had no understanding and no control. Little wonder that, more than eighty years after she died, her story seems as compelling as ever …

 

yphoid-Mary-poster-web.png

Following World War II North Brother Island was inhabited by war veterans during the nationwide housing shortage, before being abandoned again in the early 1950s. It was then was used as the site of a treatment centre for adolescent drug addicts, but the centre closed amidst controversy – it was said that heroin addicts were held against their will and locked in rooms until ‘clean’ – in the 1960s.

nb graf.jpg

The island was then abandoned completely, becoming – alongside the smaller South Brother Island – a sanctuary for herons and a variety other wading birds such as cormorants and egrets.

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Various New York City mayors have wondered what to do with North Brother Island: John Lindsay considered selling it, Ed Koch wanted to convert the island into housing for the homeless, while others explored using it as an extension of the jail at Rikers Island.

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At present, North Brother Island is managed by NYC Parks and off-limits to the public – visits are allowed only for “compelling academic and scientific purposes”. One proposal currently being considered is to re-open the island for limited “light-touch, environmentally sensitive” public access, although the dilapidated and downright dangerous state of many of the buildings and structures there would surely necessitate a good deal of costly rebuilding – or demolition.

nb34.jpg

The island is surely a tricky place to get around. Many of the buildings – including the massive gantry crane situated on the main dock – are in a state of near-collapse.

nb40.jpg

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The roads and paths have been swallowed up by vegetation. Visitors must be on constant lookout for falling debris, while beneath their feet, gaping manholes and broken branches are covered by untamed weeds. Poison ivy is omnipresent.

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nb39.jpg

For our reconstruction of North Brother Island, we have relied on maps which contain details of where specific buildings – the hospital itself, staff quarters, the physician’s house, the morgue, tennis courts, and so on – were located. (For reference, we have labelled and dated the island’s buildings inworld.) These maps help to convey what a busy and vibrant place this must have been.

nb24

In addition, our interpretation of North Brother Island as it is today has been helped by looking at arial pictures such as this one …

nb23

Most importantly, we have drawn on the photographs taken by Christopher Payne and published in his book, North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City.

payne nb book.jpeg

Payne was one of a handful of photographers permitted to visit the island, and he spent around five years gathering his pictures. Here are some examples from this stunning series …

North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City

North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City

christopherpayne_northbrotherisland5.jpg

North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City

nb27.jpg

North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City

North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City

nb30.jpg

nb31.jpg

nb32.jpg

There are also some excellent videos …

As we researched North Brother Island we were struck both by the history of the place itself, and its remarkable location. The subtitle of Payne’s book – “the last unknown place in New York City” – sums this up perfectly. North Brother Island is close to the heart of this great city, and yet for most New Yorkers it is surely ignored – undiscovered and unknown. Tragedies unfolded here that are long forgotten, just as the buildings in which they took place have been eroded by time. We hope that you enjoy our interpretation of the island – and as ever, invite you to post your pictures in the Flickr group.

 

 

 

Goodbye Ukivok!

Ukivok opened at the end of March, and now it’s time to move on. So the sim will close for good next week, on Wednesday 26 June.

This was rather a special sim for us: Ukivok has a wonderfully rich and intriguing, albeit poignant, history, and its stunning location – as well as those stilt houses – were quite a challenge to recreate in Second Life. If the reviews by  Inara PeyMaddy Gynoid, Diomita and Jenny Maurer, Yana and Susann Decuir are anything to go by – alongside comments in the guestbook – the sim was widely appreciated, so our thanks to all who came by and especially to those who were kind enough to let us know they liked it.

The sim’s Flickr group was busy – especially in the first few weeks – and now contains more than 850 pictures. Here are some of the highlights …

a monolith of doom

brume matinale

Only love could bring us...

Truth

Taking a picture and keeping it.

SL Dulcis_013 Ukivok April 2019 Image by © rig torok

Day Trip to Ukivok - The Sea

compassion

. sounds matter .

supreme shade

Ukivok (7)

Solitude

-stillness-

Solitary

///////////

this place was a shelter

Summertime Sadness

UKIVOK

Ukivok

[nobody belongs to us, except in memory … ♪♫]

"Everything that happens is from now on." - Bon Iver

Heart and Stone

"Listen folks! We have thirty minutes here and then we'll move on to the next spot..."

forenoon

The watchtower #Ukivok

Ukivok

No water, no life

L'homme en blanc

Blessed is the one who waits in the traveller's heart for his turning

Mood for a day

I've been waiting...

Abandoned

The Silence of the Sea . El silencio del mar

Psycho's ..i.. Worth

the sea...

Ukivok

Ukivok III

Be !

Big thanks, as ever, to everyone who visited Ukivok and took pictures. As we’ve said many times, Flickr is where we learn most about how our sims are seen by others. And it is in the pictures you create that our memories of these places live on.

One week in Ukivok

Ukivok opened a week ago, and the response has been very positive. The sim has been busy, often full at peak times, and we were pleased to see very generous reviews from Inara Pey, Maddy Gynoid and Diomita and Jenny Maurer. Thanks, also, to everyone who has signed the guestbook so far – your comments are better than tips! We’re yet to hear from anyone who has actually visited King Island, we’d be somewhat amazed if anyone came along who has. Still, you never know in Second Life …

As always, we’ve been watching the work of visiting photographers with great interest. We expected the sim to be quite difficult to photograph, but over 350 pictures have already been posted to the Flickr group. There have been some outstanding shots of the village from a distance …

Ukivok

Way Down We Go

Ukivok III

Ukivok - March 2019

Storm is coming...

Ukivok - experimenting foto

And Another Day Ends

Sentry

Ukivok

Ukivok

… as well as some great pictures that highlight the precariousness of the buildings …

.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Dulcis/206/145/22

Ukivok

UKivok

At Ukivok

Morning is made

Vanitas vanitatum...

Ukivok 04

Ukivok - March 2019

stilts & stairs

Don't Pick Up the Sticks

Ukivok

The Place to Be

Ukivok

There have been some terrific landscape pictures …

Calm waters

Wild Mεεting in Alaska @Ukivok

Ukivok I

Jenny returns home to Ukivok after shrimp fishing

Ed at Dulcis 03272019_008

This view is a painting

Ukivok

Ukivok

LEA Photohunt - Ukivok

At Ukivok

In the Light

Parakeet auklet at Ukivok waiting for the Daily Show

he slips away at sunset...

People Help The People

… and some fabulous details …

wolf pack

. una danza llena de gardenias plenas reflorecerá .

tenebris et pulchra

Ukivok

Don't need more.

. oh! you rebel life, go get lost in the wind .

call it a V.esper

Ukivok 06

Soundless music

A piece of Chesapeake has found a home at Ukivok

Ukivok

Ukivok II

Wind Chimes @ Ukivok

Ukivok ...

. there is always silence before the storm .

Finally, there are those pictures that just seem to evoke an undefinable sense of place and atmosphere – of ‘being there’ …

Ukivok

.

Holoscene

world is not a plastic.. there is more...

Ukivok

Break of Dawn

second life - unedit (Ukivok - https://www.flickr.com/groups/ukivok/, Dulcis)

Colors of The Spirit

at the edge

2019-03-25 - Ukivok - 03

Sipping on straight chlorine

Ukivok

Relax - take it easy....

Morning at Ukivok

obscure ......

Remnants of Departed Days

As always, our thanks to everyone who has visited the sim, left a comment, taken a picture, or just enjoyed being there. We have no plans to close it just yet … but you know how it is with our places – Ukivok won’t stay open forever, so enjoy it while you can.

Ukivok, and the People of the Sea

Surely there are ghosts here, my children sprung
from these deeper furrows.

[Joan Naviyuk Kane]

King_Island_Houses_USGS_ric00642.jpg

Our new sim, which opens today, is a recreation of the abandoned Alaskan village of Ukivok. The landmark is here. Once home to around 200 Iñupiat, the village is located on Ugiuvak, or King Island, which is situated in the Bering Sea, around 64km off the Alaskan coast and 145km from Nome.

kng's island map.png

This remarkable place is a stilt village, perched on the side of a 45º hill. The village has stood on this site since the late nineteenth century. It was abandoned around fifty years ago, but still stands today, looking as intriguing – and as unlikely – as ever …

ukivok 01 ukivok-abandoned-stilt-village-alaska-ghost-town-6

ukivok house.jpg

ukivok-abandoned-stilt-village-alaska-ghost-town-7

King Island, on which Ukivok is located, measures one mile (or 1.6km) across with steep slopes on every side.

ukivok island.png

Besides the stilt village, there are no other buildings on Ugiuvak.

ukivok from above.jpg

As far as we know there is no beach to speak of on the island, making the passage from the sea to level land high up on the island quite impossible from most points. As this sketch by a sea captain suggests, Ukivok is a forbidding, seemingly uninhabitable place …

ukivok wanderlust.002

A distinctive feature on King Island is a group of rocks high up on the saddle of the island. These look like ruins of some kind – an Alaskan Stonehenge, perhaps? But in fact, they are completely natural …

King_Island_2_2010-09-08.jpg

King Island is home to eleven bird species – something like 250,000 birds in total – most notably around 42,000 Parakeet Auklet. From a distance, it can appear quite mystical, especially when shrouded in mist …

ukivok distance

King_Island_3_2010-09-08

One can but wonder at the ingenuity it must have taken to build a village in such a place, and the resilience demanded of those who lived here. The Iñupiat inhabitants of Ukivok called themselves Aseuluk, ‘people of the sea’, or Ukivokmiut, ‘people of Ukivok’.

The Ukivokmiut were subsistence hunters and whalers who had lived on King Island for centuries. Their activities on and around the island included hunting for seals and walruses, crab fishing, and gathering bird eggs and other foods.

ukivok-abandoned-stilt-village-alaska-ghost-town-5

KingIslandBoatsUSGSric00644

Flickr-Nationalmuseet-National-Museum-of-Denmark-700x502

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The Aseuluk built Ukivok on stilts because of the lack of sheltered flat ground on the island. Initially the village consisted of houses constructed from walrus-hide for the summer months, and stone for the winter. These were subsequently replaced with wooden buildings, which can still be seen on the island today.

ukivok from above

alaska-king-island-view-sea-cliff-dwellings-13135485.jpg

green-abandoned-buildings-Wikipedia-700x469

ukivok map.jpg

As this map shows, the Ukivokmiut also built a school and a church. They are the two largest buildings in this photograph …

ukivok church.jpg

The church was dismantled during the mid 1980s because it was becoming dangerously unstable. We have retained both buildings in our reconstruction, albeit in what we imagine would be an appropriate state of disrepair.

ukivok church B

We were intrigued to discover that the Aseuluk were devout Catholics. A statue of Christ the King – which can be seen on the sim – stands high above the village, perched on top of 700 ft high cliffs …

ukivok statue B

ukivok statue 2 B

At the top of the village itself, an old bell –  also included in our reconstruction – was used to call people to mass. The bell tower collapsed in 1974.

ukivok bell B

Ukivok’s school is central to the story of how the village came to be abandoned. Up until the middle of the twentieth century, the Ukivokmiut tended to spend winter on the island, and at least part of the summer in the mainland city of Nome, where they sold ivory carvings while camping on the beach …

King_island_men_carving_ivory-640x518.jpg

ukivok carving.jpg

King_Island_natives_camped_on_beach_at_Nome.jpg

During the winter months they spent their time in Ukivok. Because of limited daylight – only four hours per day during December and January – the islanders engaged in activities such as dancing, which was done in the so-called ‘Qagri’ (the men’s communal house). The month of December was known by the Ukivokmuit as ‘Sautugvik’, or the time of drumming.

ukivok drm

The numbers of Ukivokmuit on King Island began to decline during the Second World War, when an outbreak of tuberculosis claimed many lives within the village. Others were lured away in search of jobs and better medical care on the mainland. But the crucial event that led to the eventual abandonment of Ukivok was the closure of the school. This was directed by the Bureau of Indian affairs, ostensibly due to fears of a rock slide that threatened to destroy the school house.

ukivok school closure.jpg

This devastated the village. Without children to help gather winter food, the elders and adults were forced to move to the mainland, and by 1970 King Island was completely depopulated, although some Ukivokmiut continued to make trips to the island during the summer months to maintain the buildings and hunt walrus and seal. Meanwhile, the boulder that had supposedly threatened the school’s existence has never moved, and the building still stands, albeit in a dilapidated condition.

ukivok school.jpg

Although King Island has a lot of vegetation, there are few (if any) trees there. This raises an intriguing question: the Aseuluk built a stilt village on an island where wood is essentially lacking, so where did they find all that wood? According to this article, the village was mainly built out of a combination of driftwood and wood procured during trips to the mainland. Wood was hugely important to these people, as indicated by the rich terminology of wood types and expressions in their Inupiaq dialect …

wood words.jpg

Photographs suggest that the real King Island is incredibly ‘green’ during the summer months, and we have sought to reflect that in our reconstruction …

ukivok green 2

ukivok green 1

Although the village still stands, one wonders how much more difficult the life of the Aseuluk might be today in the face of climate change. In recent years, more and more of the ice in the sea around King Island has melted; indeed as this graphic shows, it almost disappeared completely in 2018 …

 

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If the trend continues, the region’s ecology will be seriously destabilisedwinter storms will be common and the capacity of the villagers to hunt would surely be diminished.

While researching the history of Ukivok, I was pleased to discover the poetry of Joan Naviyuk Kane, whose mother was an inhabitant of Ukivok.

joan kane.jpeg

In 2015, Joan visited King Island – she gives a fascinating account of that visit here.

JoanKane.jpg

Joan’s 2016 poem, ‘Exceeding Beringia’, resonates powerfully with her experience of that trip …

Nimiqtuumaruq aktunaamik: bound with rope.

This land with its laws that serve as wire
and root to draw us together. Sinew, snare,
the unseen growth of the green tree
many rivers south whose stump now shoals

into use. Through layer upon layer of land
submerged, of ice, of ash, through lakes
that cannot be the eyes of the earth.
The phreatomagmatic blue sprawl
of the Devil Mountain Maar, the Kuzitrun

drained by inland veins scrawling tributaries
with name upon vanishing name.
The giant granite tors at Serpentine:
Iyat, the cooking pot sentineled
by unscoured stone as it towers

endlessly into the flickering sky.
Auksruaq, like the blood that seeps
across such hot and dim and strenuous
times where one still cannot be serene:
red phalarope, might we follow,

leaving the meadow wet with tears?
From nest to fledge and then to move again
right out to sea, circling tight vortices
to upwell food. Let us lose our grief
in great rafts as we translate the renamed

straits. Our limbs, like yours, are burnt
and broken. Let us at last make noise
of this truth as we return together
to wear another furrow, to make portage,
to make our land our home anew.

Finally – and purely for fun – we have added a zipline. As the map above indicates, there was a winch house in the village, next to the church. This suggests that the islanders probably used a ropeway for transporting things between the village and the sea. We simply made ours longer and higher – and it’s intended for people, not things. After all, Alaska does boast of having the world’s longest zipline … albeit located some 2000km away from King Island, at Icy Strait Point …

In this spirit, we hope that you enjoy visiting the sim, and that you post your images in the Flickr group.