History of Nature Management on the Commander Islands Photo Show is held in the visitor centor of the national park. This is the first of a planned series of exhibitions, as well as a small part of the future permanent exhibition in the visitor center.
We chose photographs of different years, from the end of the XIX century to the middle of the XX century, depicting the development of the natural resources of the Commander Islands. Hunting, fishing, keeping animals, almost all types of nature management have changed a lot over the past decades, and at the same time remained the same. Once upon a time, people learned to survive in the difficult climatic natural conditions of the islands thanks to their energy, indestructible zest for life, intelligence and ingenuity. That is something we, although living in differnet conditions thanks to technological progress, share with our ancestors!
One of the objectives of this photo exhibition is to show the history of the islands through the prism of nature management, because it was this aspect of life that was the main one in the development of the Commander Islands, and later in the development of the Aleutian region. It was for the sake of development of natural resources that uninhabited islands were inhabited in the middle of the XVIII century. Later for the sake of preserving the resources of the Commanders Russia created a specially protected natural area of national importance here. Preservation of historically formed nature management heritage, as tradition-based as possible, is one of the tasks of the national park, and the park staff is doing everything we can to research and revive the past. We carefully collect everything related to the history of nature management and nature conservation on the islands, so that we can all touch the past, which means that we can better know ourselves at the present!
It is the first photo exhibition of the series, so we did not seek to cover all aspects of local life and to tell about all types of nature use. We set this task for the future exposition, which will be a permanent part of the national park visitor center. This time we have chosen to show a variety of pages in people's lives on the Commanders related to nature management. You will find here some "staged" photographs of the end of the XIX century, showing us the more distant past of the islands and the fishing activities of the Aleuts, as well as recent photographs from the life of the Commander Islands Fur Factory, along with private household scenes of hunting and fishing.
the national park expresses gratitude for the unique archival materials provided for the photo exhibition by our partners: KGBY the Kamchatka Regional United Museum, Natalia Fomina, TsGAKFFD SPb, as well as the University of Washington and the Smithsonian Institution. Many household and cultural items were provided by local residents of Nikolskoye Village Since the history of the Commander Islands in past centuries was inextricably linked with both Russia and the U.S., archival materials are located in both countries and represent unique historical moments at the junction of two such different countries and cultures.
We also thank everyone who helped us and took part in the creation of the exhibition hall! Local renovators: Andrey Dubovskov, Alexander Kiyyakin, Alexander Karamyshev, Nikolai Sinitsin, as well as all employees of the national park, who also took part in the repairs and preparation of the hall. Thank you for your help in selecting exhibits and historical references: Natalia Tatarenkova, Inna Lipilina, Julia Pulit.
The grand opening of the photo exhibition was accompanied by a reception and a screening Glass Beads, filmed in 1978 and directed by Igor Nikolaev - the only feature film shot on the Commander Islands so far. The Unangan Creative Group performed the Aleut dance called The Commanders Seagulls at the opening of the exhibition.
The show will be open to the public on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until March 1, 2023. Come and visit us!