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Born in the Soviet Union, and then adrift after the USSR collapsed, Artem Zhdanov never felt he belonged to any country until he came to Alaska and found his home. The latest installment of Becoming Alaskan.

"Having previously been a citizen of three different countries — the U.S.S.R., Kyrgyzstan, and Russia — he recently obtained his American citizenship. He said he was moved by his naturalization ceremony, something that doesn’t happen in Russia, where he became citizen at age 16 after simply completing paperwork. “It was the very first time in my life I could say, ‘They actually welcome me here. I can belong.’”"


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David James is an Alaskan author and literary critic whose work has been published by the Anchorage Daily News, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Anchorage Press, Alaska Dispatch News, and Ester Republic. He is editing a forthcoming anthology of Alaska writing.


Jenifer Cameron, a professional artist and retired art teacher, took the time to discuss her life's work as she prepared to leave Fairbanks with her husband for their new home in Seldovia.

“Everybody is an artist. When you’re creating and you’re expressing yourself and making marks on a paper and engaged in the process, that’s what artists do. I believe everybody’s creative. Our brains are built to be creative and curious. It’s hard to not be.”

Read more here.
Kendell Macomber discusses aerial dancing,which she practices and teaches in Fairbanks, and her pathway into the Fairbanks professional dancing world, where she is a prominent contributor.

One day I saw aerialists, and I said, that’s the next level; I have to do that. So I got up in the air and haven’t looked back.”

Read more here.