Atlas of the first snow (Out-of-the-way) 2015 — 2023

We create our history the same as our history shapes us. We choose hope. Hope that the way will be found, that there will be food, that all people return home, that family will reunite and winter will finish. About 300 years ago my ancestors founded a small settlement in the Far North. Severe conditions of an isolated community, exile living, special attitude to nature. My family still lives there — about 100 people with DNA of Indigenous Minority — the Tungus nation. Blood relatives, relatives by marriage, by close vicinity. Modern civilization influences the world but our isolated community preserves its identity thanks to isolation and severe climate. Landscape, unalterable for ages sets us thinking: who are we? Where do we come from and — the most important question for the next generations — where are we going to?

The name of our settlement can be translated from the Tungus language as “island”, it can be accessed only by a helicopter that shuttles twice a month from a small town in 300 km. As the years pass this process becomes more expensive and rare. People are encapsulated inside this place in close connection with nature and traditions as if they were under the dome. Life of this part of my family — my father’s siblings and numerous cousins and nephews — has not changed for centuries in that remote area surrounded with pristine wilderness.

Modern civilization penetrates slowly and fragmentarily in there, it is intricately woven into the local way of life. Electricity, supplied by a diesel generator, is available only in the mornings and evenings. Temperatures in winter average -45° Celsius. These lands are immersed into the flow of their own life activity, where the past and the present surprisingly interlace.

World Press Photo →

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