Deep in the heart of Alaska is a 200 resident strong town called Whittier, accessible only via a 2.6 mile long tunnel which runs through the neighbouring mountain, and which closes at nighttime. This leaves Whittier incredibly isolated overnight, even more so due to the fact that almost all of the town’s inhabitants live on top of one another in a 14 storey condominium.
Sound foreboding? It is a bit, so naturally it was the choice of subject of Jen Kinney, a photographer and writer currently living and working in Whitter. She explains: “It is a vertical town, with walls so thin the missionary can listen in on the bartender next door. Those who don’t live in the tower—in winter, fewer than 40—live in another condominium just above the railroad tracks, in their boats or trailers, or in hotel rooms in the Anchor Inn. ‘A lot of people don’t stay here because they think it feels like prison,’ one resident told me. ‘I just laugh. I tell everybody, We all live in the same house, we just have separate bedrooms.’”
The resulting images reflect exactly this strange warmth that’s shared by the residents, the proximity within which individuals live to one another counteracting the relative isolation of the town. Affection between friends and the ghostly landscape both play a part too, but the thread pulling the series together remains an ineffable yet incredibly potent sense of connection with the subjects. This is documentary photography at its very finest.
- Submit Saturdays: Tips for Social Media
- New Originals: introducing the London Rollergirls
- The best things on the internet, readers' comments and who to follow on social media
- Our A-Z Guide to the UK's 2016 Graduate Shows
- LGBT in advertising: “What we need now is bravery"
- Images packed with life, leather and charm in Bex Day's new series for Pylot
- The new Sagmeister & Walsh website has a live feed from a snake enclosure and a new naked photo (NSFW)
- The Co-op returns to its old “clover leaf” logo from the 1960s
- Sexual, surreal and disturbing: the weird work of super-skilled Claudia Maté
- Don't Hug Me I'm Scared - an exclusive interview with Duck, Red Guy and Yellow Guy
- Anna Ginsburg explores sex and female orgasms in this hilarious animation (NSFW)
- Ace new Laura Callaghan work calls BS on the idea that we can be "whatever we want to be"