Florence Pestrikoff flew from her remote home in Akhiok on Alaska’s Kodiak Island to have her picture taken. Her BYU photographers came even farther—driving more than 40 hours and riding a ferry for 10. And now her image is on display 3,500 miles away in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
Pestrikoff is one of the last speakers of Alutiiq, an endangered language in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, and one of 16 people photographed so far by recent BYU photography grad Jordan K. Layton (BFA ’17) and professor Paul S. Adams (BFA ’94) for their ongoing project, Vanishing Voices.
Vanishing Voices began as Layton’s capstone project, inspired by his realization that hundreds of languages are disappearing in North America alone.
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