“I learned about Russia from the stories of my grandparents who traveled to Moscow for the Olympics-80. They brought me a Zenith camera from there, a special edition for the Olympic Games – so I became interested in photography. By the way, the camera is still alive.
Before coming here, I heard about Norilsk. I met pictures of Norilsk photographers on the Internet and thought: it would be nice to see all this by my own eyes. And suddenly I came across the information about the FusioNNow project… I wrote to the organizers that for me the most important thing was to tell the stories of people of different professions through photography, and I really wanted to go to the Far North to show the whole world how the spirit and strength of people allow them to flourish in such difficult conditions. I was very happy when I found out that I would go to the Ethno Fashion Tour and visit the Bolshoi Argish ethnic festival in Norilsk and Dudinka – the culture of the indigenous people also inspires me very much. But visiting the enterprises of such a giant as Nornickel is something incredible. My photos from the copper factory got rave reviews on Instagram. And many of my subscribers now also want to go on a trip to the North.
Norilsk is a unique place. Colorful architecture, bright houses, industrial giants right around here. I don’t have enough words to express all admiration for your city, which is not like any other in the world, I can judge as I have visited a lot of places. Here is a paradise for a photographer. These views inspired me to a series of urban shots. It was even more surprising that you have a photo club where like-minded people gather – while we communicate with enthusiastic people through social networks mainly. I did not expect that there are such sincere people with warm hearts, despite the frost. I am sure that I will return here again to enjoy the spirit of the Far North of Russia”.
Follow Joao in his Instagram account @joao.bernardino to get inspired by his incredible photo masterpieces.
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Text: Natalia Popova, Photo: personal archive of Joao Bernardino