In this firsthand account of the climate crisis, Alexis Pazoumian guides us on a photographic odyssey across the far reaches of the world’s coldest region, Yakutia in Russia.
In a country that’s estimated to be warming up three times faster than the rest of the planet, it’s Russia’s icy heart. This work is the result of a project carried out between 2017-2019 in Yakutia, a region located in eastern Siberia. The story follows Alexis's journey from Yakutsk, the coldest city in the world, through the gulag road to Sacha, a reindeer herder in search of freedom and independence living alone in the middle of the Tundra.
Climate change is not felt directly by those who recklessly sought to subdue nature, but by those who tried to live in harmony with it. The increase in temperature (4°C over the past 40 years) has had dramatic consequences on the lives of indigenous people and their animals. Sacha’s days are difficult, rough, wild, lonely. Surrounded by reindeer, Sacha sometimes forgets that he lives cut off from the world. The vast frozen expanses of Yakutia, in northern Siberia, is one of the areas considered to be the coldest on the planet. In such conditions, life is a battle that must be fought at all times against the elements. Sacha is attached to this primitive and austere way of life, but will it adapt to climate change for long?
“It’s often those who strive to live in harmony with nature who feel its effects the most” — Alexis Pazoumian