KYUK AM

Katie Basile

Multimedia Producer/Director

Katie Basile is a photographer and multimedia storyteller from Bethel, Alaska. 

After graduating with a degree in Photojournalism from the University of Montana, Katie lived in Prague and interned with Spectrum Pictures. Eventually she settled in Brooklyn, New York where she lived and worked for six-years.

Katie recently returned home to Bethel, Alaska where she continues to focus on documentary work and explores multimedia storytelling with rural Alaskan youth.

Ways to Connect

Children orphaned by the flu epidemic at Pawik (Naknek), Alaska in 1919.
NAU.PH.568.4362: Northern Arizona University, Cline Library [Emery Kolb Collection]

The merciless force of a pandemic is nothing new to Southwest Alaska. Many people in the region have grown up with stories of the 1918 flu epidemic killing whole villages. KYUK’s Julia Jimmie heard those tales from her mother and aunt, who heard them from their parents, some of whom were there when death came to visit.


Protesters gather in Bethel to support the Black Lives Matter movement on June 2, 2020.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Cecilia "Cece" Franko joins KYUK Host Grady Deaton to talk about the Black Lives Matter protest in Bethel on June 2, 2020. Franko is one of the protest organizers.


Alaska Public Health Nurses Donna Bean and Evelina Achee
Courtesy of Donna Bean

Many of us are asking questions about the duration of the pandemic and our efforts to practice social distancing. When will this be over? When can we resume our normal daily activities?

In an attempt to answer these questions, The New York Times recently published the findings from a survey of 511 infectious disease specialists asking when they personally expect to resume 20 activities of daily life ranging from getting a haircut to attending a concert or sporting event.

Here to talk about why these questions are so hard to answer is Alaska Public Health Nurse Donna Bean. 


Courtesy of Dr. Al Gross

As of the June 1 filing deadline, there are five people running for the seat currently held by Dan Sullivan in the U.S. Senate, including Sullivan himself. On the phone and joining us for Coffee@KYUK is Dr. Al Gross. He is an Independent candidate who has been endorsed by the Alaska Democratic Party.

Gross grew up in the state, the son of the state attorney general under former governor Jay Hammond. He has been a commercial fisherman, a doctor, and now he’s running for one of Alaska’s U.S. Senate seats.


Windy Willow Hair and Nail Salon in Bethel, Alaska.
Courtesy of Tracey Wilbanks

Last Friday, May 22, Gov. Mike Dunleavy lifted many of the state's health mandates, allowing businesses around Alaska to open at full capacity. While Dunleavy recommends that people continue practicing social distancing, mask wearing, and frequent hand washing and disinfecting, he left it up to business owners to decide how to enforce these recommendations within their own establishments. 

 

Here to talk with us about running a business throughout the pandemic is Tracey Wilbanks of Windy Willow Hair and Nail Salon in Bethel. Not only has she managed to keep her business afloat during the pandemic, but she also recently expanded it.

 


Courtesy of Aassanaaq Kairaiuak

Gabby Hiestand-Salgado, a Jesuit Volunteer working at KYUK, came up with the idea of making a film of people dancing to the same Yup’ik song from wherever they were hunkering down during the pandemic. The two Blanchett brothers, Phillip and Steven, and their band, Pamyua, were quick to help.


Earlier this month, KYUK produced a video in collaboration with the musical group Pamyua. We asked people to submit videos of themselves dancing to a specific song called "Tarvarnauramken," also known as the Blessing or Purification Song, while social distancing. We then edited the videos together into one cohesive dance. On this episode of Coffee@KYUK, we welcome one of the founders of Pamyua, Phillip Blanchett, and humanities professor, Yup’ik Tradition Bearer, and Phillip’s mother, Marie Meade. Both Phillip and Marie are featured in this video. 

YKHC Nurse Kerry Cobbledick hands out swabs at a station set up for coronavirus testing outside of the Alaska Airlines airport terminal in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Health officials sprang into action Friday when the second case of COVID-19 was discovered by the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation through its airport testing, offered free to those flying into Bethel. This was the first case in a village.

 

 


Tatyana Avugiak of Chefornak and Kaylee King of Mekoryuk are KYUK interns, and will be high school seniors starting in the fall of 2020.
Courtesy of Tatyana Avugiak and Kaylee King

Doing schoolwork at home is tough, especially in rural villages where internet is limited and access to teachers requires a phone call. But that that’s what many students have been forced to do during the coronavirus pandemic.


KYUK Interns Tatyana Avugiak and Kaylee King connect with friends, teachers, and KYUK virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Courtesy of Tatyana Avugiak and Kaylee King

As spring arrives, people are beginning to relax on social distancing protocols as they prepare to fish and gather subsistence foods in some villages.


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