The last of the earth

I confess that I’m hooked on reality show most boring ever. For four seasons, the program follows the day-to-day life of several families living in a nature reserve in northern Alaska, in the Arctic Circle. But in each chapter there are no romances, no fights, no team events. They don’t even interact with each other because each cabin is hundreds of kilometers from the others. The protagonists fix their house and sometimes they go hunting. Although they are always very busy, the pace of the montage is not frantic. A quiet music accompanies long shots of a landscape almost incomprehensible to our eyes due to the lack of buildings, vehicles, infrastructure and even roads. Just forest and snow as far as the eye can see.

Participants sit in front of the camera and repeat over and over again how difficult it is to live in these isolated conditions and how privileged they feel to be able to do so. They are, in fact. Since 1980 only a handful of families have been licensed to continue living in their cabin. That is why the program is called The Last of Alaska (Dplay).

I discovered the reality one day by chance and I experienced something that would repeat itself later with each chapter. I felt disoriented for a few seconds. Who I was? What was he doing in a building in the middle of a city? What was the point of sitting in front of a computer when I should have been getting ready for winter? I didn’t really understand what was happening to me until months later I read an interview with Gordon Hempton, an “acoustic ecologist” who travels the world recording the strangest sounds of nature. Hempton said that the climate crisis was nothing more than a symptom of our spiritual crisis. In the name of progress, we have disengaged from the environment and have lost our identity and our purpose.

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