Images of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill on Kodiak Island
An exhibition of photographs and video of the spill taken by the people of Kodiak Island in the summer of 1989.
“We Remember: Images of The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill on Kodiak Island,” is an exhibition of still images and video to mark the 20th anniversary of the March 24, 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill as it happened to the people of Kodiak. The project, begun in the fall of 2008, included collecting, digitizing and presenting images taken by ordinary people who lived through the spill on Kodiak Island.
The project also involved digitizing several hundred hours of VHS video tapes made at various public meetings in Kodiak in 1989. These video tapes, a unique record of an epochal event in Alaskan history, have been stored since the spill in a climate controlled room at Kodiak College Library, and are now also preserved in digital form on hard drives and DVD discs. We hope to present some of this video along with the still images at Kodiak Comfish in April.
The exhibit is not intended to be a complete visual record of the spill on Kodiak. Like all large historical events, the spill was too large for any one person to see or understand in its entirety and is perhaps even now too large an event for a small institution such as the Kodiak Maritime Museum to comprehensively address. However, aside from the newspaper images, which have their own documentary value, these pictures were taken by Kodiak residents as they dealt with the effects of an unequaled environmental and social disaster. As such, they provide a unique and infinitely valuable view of the spill.
Still images for the exhibit were contributed by Betsey Myrick, Robbie Hoedel, Roger Benney, Marion Owen, Suzanne Abraham, Sue Jeffery, Vern Booben, and Bobby Ivanof. Newspaper clippings are courtesy of the Kodiak Historical Society. Video images are courtesy of Kodiak College. Special thanks to Alf Pryor of Dead Humpy Productions for designing and producing the exhibit.
This project is supported in part by a grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum and the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.