The Weekly - June 30, 2020 - 16
A N D R E W
Q U E R N E R
River guide Joel Hibbard hikes
at Wolf Tors above the Firth
River in Ivvavik National Park,
Yukon Territory, Canada.
At All Costs
Before the pandemic, photographer Andrew Querner traveled to
the remote Arctic in order to draw attention to the plight of wild
lands. Now, he is rethinking his own impacts on the planet.
BEFORE THE COVID-19 TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS,
Vancouver-based photographer Andrew Querner's
last big trip was in one of the most remote places
on Earth-a 13-day journey down the Firth River
through Ivvavik National Park, deep in Canada's
Unorganized Yukon. Querner was on assignment for Canada Airline's En-Route magazine,
which published the story in late December 2019.
Originally named Northern Yukon National Park,
it was renamed Ivvavik in 1992 for the Inuvialuktun word (meaning nursery) since the area is an
important calving ground for Porcupine caribou.
It's the first national park in Canada to be created
as a result of an aboriginal land claim agreement.
"One of the reasons this story got greenlit
by En-Route is because there was that connection to the migrating Porcupine caribou
herd and the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge
(ANWR), where they migrate each summer,"
says Querner, who also wanted to bring attention to the relaxing of drilling rules under
the Trump administration's 2017 tax bill. "I do
think there's something to be said for photographers going out to the most remote places and
photographing them so that they can continue
to be protected or become protected."
Querner's work explores not just a subject in
place, but the larger scope of place and people
16 THE WEEKLY / OUTDOOR RETAILER SUMMER 2020
in a world that often devalues deeper networks
of connection. "For me, the word sustainable
has lost all meaning in the pandemic," says
Querner. "Western culture is totally uncoupled
with the environment. Why are we flying
photographers around the world when there is
talent everywhere? Maybe we need to do a better job cultivating and searching out that talent.
I don't want to make a living as a photographer
at all costs. That may have been an attitude I
had early on, and that's changed."
You can see more of Querner's work at
andrewquerner.com and follow him on Instagram @andrewquerner.
Photographs by Andrew Querner
The Weekly - June 30, 2020
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