The interests of the traveler and independent journalist Vladimir Sevrinovsky are the regions of Russia. He visited each of them to see the country in all its diversity. He has written dozens of award-winning articles with his own photographs as illustrations. Author of such authoritative publications as Russian Reporter, TASS, Meduza, National Geographic, Bird in Flight and others. In his projects, the journalist tells about the life and culture of the country peoples. One of the most famous is People on the Map. Russia: from Edge to Extreme, a collection of travel notes and documentary sketches about the inhabitants of megalopolises and villages from Chechnya to Chukotka.
Taimyr has become one of the points in Vladimir Sevrinovsky’s large-scale research. Last autumn, he went on an expedition to Volochanka after the last nomadic hunter-reindeer herders, in order to have time to get acquainted with representatives of ethnic groups personally. At that time, the Norilsk residents learned about the journalist’s plans at the PolArt residence meeting and waited for the author to return with stories and photographs following the project.
“The Volochanka village is located in the middle of Taimyr, halfway from Dudinka to Khatanga. About half of its inhabitants are Dolgans, a Turkic people related to the Yakuts. The other half are Nganasans, native speakers of the Samoyedic group. These indigenous inhabitants of Taimyr have long been engaged in nomadic hunting. On a peninsula famous for its metallurgy, they were the first to start smelting metal. According to official data, there are less than 8 000 Dolgans left, and less than 900 of the Nganasans. About a hundred of them speak the Nganasan language… Traditions are being transformed – now the hunters leave for the tundra not with reindeer sled argish, but with a caravan of snowmobiles. Lights are on in their mobile houses and TVs are working – electricity for them is provided by wind turbines and solar panels. Hunting provides residents of Volochanka with a good income, keeps them from moving to the city, but it will not last forever… According to forecasts of scientists, the wild reindeer, which the indigenous peoples hunt, may disappear in the coming years due to global warming, environmental pollution and poaching. Then the traditional way of life will be completely lost. One shouldn’t idealize it – like everything else in the world, it has both a light and a dark side”, says Vladimir Sevrinovsky about the exhibition project.
The research photo project starts today, 5 February.
Text: Maria Sokolova, Photo: norilskmuseum.ru