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Articles by Subhankar Banerjee

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.

Featured Article

Moss-covered bigleaf maples in the Hoh rainforest, June 2014.

The wettest rainforest in the continental United States had gone up in flames and the smoke was so thick, so blanketing, that you could see it miles away. Deep in Washington’s Olympic National Park, the aptly named Paradise Fire, undaunted by the dampness of it all, was eating the forest alive and destroying an ecological Eden. In this season of drought across the West, there have been far bigger blazes but none quite so symbolic or offering quite such grim news. It isn’t the size of the fire (though it is the largest in the park’s history), nor its intensity. It’s something else entirely — the fact that it shouldn’t have been burning at all. When fire can eat a rainforest in a relatively cool climate, you know the Earth is beginning to burn.

And here’s the thing: The Olympic Peninsula is my home. Its destruction is my personal nightmare and I couldn’t stay away.

Smoke gets in my eyes

“What a bummer! Can’t even see Mount Olympus,” a disappointed tourist exclaimed from the Hurricane Ridge visitor center. Still pointing his camera at the hazy mountain-scape, he added that “on a sunny day like this” he would ordinarily have gotten a “clear shot of the ran... Read more

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