One and a half months, what I’ve spent in the Arctic gone in a blink of eye. Looking at the puddles and faded last year’s grass from a train window taking me somewhere far away on the Trans-Siberian Railway, it is hard to believe that in the North, where I’ve just come back from, there are still howling cold winds and sweeping snowstorms and the thermometer’s scale still dropes below -30C/-22F. A month and a half in Taymyr was yet another invaluable experience of my nomadic life. First of all – it’s an acquaintance with dozens of Indigenous people, acquaintance with their life, traditions, culture. It’s a long, fascinating conversation with each of them. I wanted to see and hear, to slightly open up a soul of each of these people, trying to convey their life experience through photography. Nenets, Dolgans, Nganasans, Enets, Evenkis – the collection of the photo project The World in Faces was replenished with portraits of the representatives of all five Indigenous minority people living in Taymyr. To sort out all the footage and decipher the records of interesting biographies and life stories will take a long time – but the Taymyr people are worth telling about to the whole world!
I sincerely thank all those people who provided me invaluable help in working in Taymyr. First of all, to my friend, Norilsk – based photographer and a great person, Andrey Kiiko, without whom this trip simply would not have happened! Andrey did his best, solving every day many organisational moments for our international expedition. Stress-weakened as a result, he ended up having a severe flu for the past two weeks. Luckily, he is back to work by now, full of energy and all smiles! Thank you for the friendship, mate!
I express my gratitude to Михаил Демьянов and Nornickel for the interest in my photography and the opportunity to fly by a regular helicopter to two remote villages of the Peninsula. At the same time I hope that our cooperation will escalate to a new quality level. The World In Faces project allows people of the world to learn about various Indigenous Ethnic minorities of the Russian Arctic; I think most of this people will be grateful if the mining company, by supporting this project, will pay more attention and respect to the Indigenous communities living on these territories, setting an example of social responsibility and good corporate citizenship.
Thanks to the head of the settlement of Tukhard – Павел Никифоров for the warm welcoming, excellent conditions and assistance in visiting reindeer herders of the tindra. To the head of the airport Tukhard, life-long polar explorer, Novikov Pavel Grigorievich – I express my gratitude for the donation to myself his personal heavyweight pants, which saved some of my parts from total icing)) Reindeer herder Vadim Yaptune – thanks for the warm welcome in the tundra and the yummiest frozen shaved raw fish I have ever eaten!
The legendary director of the Volochanka school, Denis Terebikchin , thank you for the full immersion in the life of the village in all its forms and manifestations, as well as the opportunity to sledge with a pack of his personal husky, which can be undoubtely awarded with the title of the world’s most kind dogs! We hope that next visit Den will finally succeed heating-up his frozen sauna; although 10 days without a shower was an experience by itself )) Volochanska School Physics teacher (aka Commandante) Артем Рубан – thank you for the miracle of Chinese engineering – an electric blanket and the world’s Northernmost acting home movie theater with an excellent selection of repertoire and rare kinds of teas for tasting. Thank you also for a kindly provided broom to scare away ever-clattering-teeth neighbor dogs.
I thank all the participants of our expedition – my Catalan amigo Miguel A. Julián, for his important ethnographic work throughout the Arctic and for his warm boots, in which I did not freeze even in the tundra )) Never upset photographer Agustin Amaro (aka Avgustin Avgustinovich), the real Spanish striker of our courtyard international soccer team – for invariably good mood)) A resident of sunny Iceland – Susan Christianen – a designer of extreme clothing, a photographer, an artist, an ice sculptor, a sound recorder and a manager of variety of other projects, appreciated by Denis. For interesting conversations during a week-long Volochanka Groundhog day while we were stuck there waiting for the weather to fly back. As well as for her dedication to the Arctic and the combination of incompatible qualities: kindness and courtesy with assertiveness and mastery-orientation. A photojournalist Marina Makovetskaya – for unswerving unshakeable hard core professionalism, as well as for the interest in virtually all, without an exception, aspects of the life of the Taymyr Peninsula and its inhabitants.
My special words of gratitude to the Таймырский Дом народного творчества and its director Любовь Попова – for the comprehensive support of my work. For her patience, for the steadfast tolerance of the hair of the cloven-hoofed and the odd-hoofed inhabitants of the tundra, my long interviews with numerous guests, when I literally pushed out Lyuba from her own office)) For hundreds of mugs of tea and loads of delicious sweets and cookies that I consumed there )) For unselfish friendship, positive humanly emotions, the joy of communication with all the wonderful team of people working there. Thanks to Anna Varaksina – for her invaluable help in working with local residents, willingness to listen to my most insane requests and find the solution of the most unexpected problems, for creativity, perfectionism and suddenness. Alexey-Alyu Chunanchar, Дмитрий Чуприн, Sergey Kashov, Роман Перов, Василий Батагай – for friendship and interesting conversations. Светлана Аксенова– for a warm attitude, kind words, willingness to assist with a traditional clothing advise at any time and repairing my backpack. Tatyana – for kindness and care. All those people who were not mentioned above – thank you for treating my work with understanding and respect. Thanks to Marina Zhаrkova and Larisa Bettufrom GCNT in Dudinka, as well as Полина Федосеева, Николай Киргизовand all those people who brought me to their elderly family members. Their faces were very important to capture for the history, and their stories must be told to the world.
To all the inhabitants of the village of Tukhart, the reindeer herders of the Tukhart tundra, the inhabitants of the village of Volochanka, to the people of Dudinka – to all the residents of Taymyr who took part in my project The World In Faces – thank you all for caring, for preserving traditions and culture of your Indigenous Ethnic Minorities, willingness to talk with me and make your portraits!
I LOVE YOU, TAYMYR!!! ❤️
PS. Time on the road flies quickly, after 3-hour flight + 27-hour train I soon will be arriving back to my beloved Buryatia! Sain bayna! A lot of plans for the near future, but you will learn about them a bit later. There are many interesting things that are going to happen! Stay tuned!