Siberia is cold, and other myths
Siberia in the eyes of Russian photographers. Currated by Leah Bendavid-Val.
SIBERIA In the Eyes of Russian Photographers Leah Bendavid-Val Viktor Akhlomov, Tyumen region, 1961 [Photographers were on hand to photograph the first gushing oil well in Siberia.] Alexander Gronsky, Lena River, near Yakutsk, Sakha Republic, October 2007 [Russian photographers, now no longer isolated, are part of the international photo community.] August Karovich Gofman, Yakuts, from album Irkutsk and Vicinity, 1865-8 [This very early photograph is in the collection of the State Historical Museum, Moscow.] Innokenty Ignatievich Pavlovsky Convicts, Duiskaya Jail, Sakhalin Island, 1890 [Anton Chekhov collected this photo & others when he traveled 6,000 miles to Sakhalin to examine the Russian penal system. His journey took 11 weeks. He was 30 yrs. old and had tuberculosis.] Vasily Shumkov, Gulag Plank beds of Canyon camp prisoners, Kolyma, Magadan Region, 1991 [photographers could not explore crumbling gulag structures until many years after Stalin died.] Alexander Tyagni-Ryadno, Krasnoyarsk Territory, 2001 [Pollution from the Norilskiy Nickel Plant permeates this memorial to Gulag Prisoners.] Dmitri Debabov, Concert in Cape Lopatka, Chukotka, 1936 [In this photo Russian performers bring culture to indigenous people. Socialist Realist photography was intended to portray expected future realities, not current facts.] Vladimir Sokolayev, Metallurgical Plant, Novokuznetsk, 1976 [Former prisoners with no money were hired to work in Siberian factories. Photographer V. Sokolayev says the floor was so hot you could boil water for tea on it.] Vladimir Sokolayev, Metallurgical Plant, Novokuznetsk, 1979 [Sokolayev wasnt in danger when he made pictures of the plant but he couldnt get his photographs published. One perspective worker told a supervisor,If I kill you I can go back to prison where there is pure air to breathe.] Sergey Potapov, Platinum Strip, Kamchatka, 2000 [In vast Siberia there is little concern about depleting the land. And there are uncounted beautiful vistas in Siberia but there is no tradition of landscape photography. this is now beginning to change.] Pavel Bezrukov, Homage to Saint Ivan Kratchtatski, Village of Poteryaevka, 2008 [Long ago Old Believers migrated to Siberia where they found religious freedom not possible in western Russia.] Pavel Bezrukov, Poteryaevka, Village near Barnaul, 2008 [Children Bathe Outdoors on Epiphany, January 19th.] Vladimir Semin, Chukchi Whale Hunt, Inchoun, Chukotka, 1989 [Semin was driven to photograph remote indigenous peoples who he felt lived a purer life than westerners. Vast Siberia has an impact on your state of mind, he says.] Andrey Shapran, Suicide, 2005 [A 20-year-old Chukchi woman committed suicide because she was rejected by her lover.] Andrey Shapran, Funeral, Suicide, Kamchatka, 2005 [Shapran photographed the cremation on his first day in this Chukchi settlement.] Sergei Maximishin, Indigirka River, Sakha Republic, Yakutia, 2010 [The discovery of oil and minerals on village lands have displaced native populations. Intermarriage and assimilation are leading to the disappearance of indigenous cultures.] Anastasia Rudenko, Krasnoyarsk, November 2010 [These women belong to the central Siberian Society of Walruses. They happily posed for Rudenko who was there on assignment to cover another topicSiberian political extremists.] Alexander Gronsky, Komsomolsk-na-Amure, 2006 [Gronsky uses his cameria to explore how the geography in which people live shapes their emotions and behaviors.] Sergei Maximishin, Oymyakon, 2007 [Oymyakon is the coldest settled place in the world. The nomads who roamed this region were forced to settle by Soviet authorities.] Sergei Maximishin, Vladivostok, 2009 [Maximishin lives in Saint petersburg. This photograph seems to demonstrate the pleasure he describes when photographing Siberia.] Sergei Maximishin, Krasnokamensk, March 2006 [Maximishin photographed the cover for our book.] End