This essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom's kind permission. ----- Polar bear approaching Bowhead remains from a previous year’s hunt, Bernard harbor outside Kaktovik, 2001.Photo: Subhankar BanerjeeBear with me. I'll get to the oil. But first you have to understand where I've been and where you undoubtedly won't go, but Shell's drilling rigs surely will -- unless someone stops them. Over the last decade, I've come to know Arctic Alaska about as intimately as a photographer can. I've been there many times, starting with the 14 months I spent back in 2001-2002 crisscrossing the Arctic …
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Subhankar Banerjee is a photographer, writer, and activist. His first book, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land, received international media attention because an accompanying exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History was censored in the Bush years. He has collaborated with ornithologist Stephen Brown on Arctic Wings: Birds of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. His most recent work can be found in The Alaska Native Reader: History, Culture, Politics and A Keener Perception: Ecocritical Studies in American Art History. In 2003, Banerjee received an inaugural Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation.