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Sebastião Salgado in Siberia
December 9, 2012 10:40 PM   Subscribe

As part of his long-term Genesis project, Sebastião Salgado shares photographs of the nomadic Nenets of northern Siberia.
posted by rhapsodie (16 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have never heard of Nenets before, but they seem like a smush between Laplanders and Mongols.

Pictures four and eight are my favourites, although pic 12 is also high on the awesome scale. I want to believe they love their dogs that much.
I can't imagine being that cold.

There are also penguins in his Antarctica pictures, which I want to point out as a matter of great public importance.

It's so nice to see all these unspoiled places while they're relatively pristine.
posted by Mezentian at 10:50 PM on December 9, 2012


I'm gonna be that person that wonders what kind of an impact a diet of just fish and meat has on the human body and if the Nenets ever have access to fruits or vegetables...
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 11:06 PM on December 9, 2012


I've long been a student of Siberia and the Arctic. These are awesomely Walker Evans-y.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 11:33 PM on December 9, 2012


Saw these pics yesterday on the Guardian. Here's precisely where my mind was officially blown:
Crossing the Ob river to enter the Arctic Circle, travelling some 50km (31 miles) over ice. The way of life of the Nenets of the Siberian Arctic is inseparable from the reindeer. Every spring, they move enormous herds of reindeer from winter pastures on the Russian mainland, travelling more than 1,000km (620 miles) north to summer pastures in the Arctic Circle. This ritual is so old that it seems unclear whether the Nenets follow the reindeer, or vice versa. (emphasis mine)
Big big Salgado fan for ages now; this set goes great with the rest of the images from the Genesis project.
posted by the cydonian at 11:53 PM on December 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


These are amazing images of people who have made a life under extreme circumstances.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:13 AM on December 10, 2012


These images are timeless out of time, they could be 1890 for all they appear. The quality is outstanding, I'd like to imagine a Leica S2 for that kind of environment, but it appears he gave up the Leica for a Mamiya 7, arguably the world's best camera.
posted by stbalbach at 12:26 AM on December 10, 2012


FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB AT THEE
posted by scrowdid at 12:49 AM on December 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


The man's photography never disappoints.
posted by imjustsaying at 1:45 AM on December 10, 2012


Interesting, I'd seen this collection of photographs about Nomads, just in the past 15 hours and it includes the Nenet. Here's the book, Nomad's Life. (some loading moments)
posted by infini at 3:07 AM on December 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great photos! I imagine they avoided being wiped out by Ivan the Terrible due to their extreme lifestyle. They were out of the reach of the fur seeking Cossacks.
posted by asok at 4:35 AM on December 10, 2012


...but it appears he gave up the Leica for a Mamiya 7, arguably the world's best camera.

Nope. Digital. From the same forum, a little later on:
Salgado used to shoot film--lots of it--but a few years back he switched to digital. He explained that digital had reached the point it was able to produce large high-quality prints to is standards, it was a lot easier to carry around a few memory cards than tens of kilograms of film on his wanderings, and he said in the days of film he was always afraid of some officious border guard destroying months of work by insisting on X-raying the film. He uses a plugin from DxO labs to simulate the look of Tri-X which he loves.

If you're really wonky about it (as I am unfortunately), you can read a summary of his current process here. [from 2009]
posted by sutt at 4:57 AM on December 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


These are excellent, as his photos so often are. Thanks for posting.
posted by OmieWise at 5:11 AM on December 10, 2012


It's so nice to see all these unspoiled places while they're relatively pristine.

Interestingly, I was poking around on Google Earth to understand the geography and found quite a few indicators of human habitation and facilities for resource extraction, like this abandoned mining town, complete with a huge tailings pile.

Some of this is Stalin-era five-year-plan stuff, but some of it was built during WWII when Nazi Germany had invaded.
posted by dhartung at 5:36 AM on December 10, 2012


Amazing photos, thanks! Anyone interested in the lifestyle (and how it's been affected by the history of the last century) might want to read The Tenacity of Ethnicity by Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer, about the Nenets' neighbors the Khanty, who traditionally had a very similar way of life.

> I'm gonna be that person that wonders what kind of an impact a diet of just fish and meat has on the human body and if the Nenets ever have access to fruits or vegetables...

You might reflect that they've been living this way for millennia and they're probably healthier than the average American.
posted by languagehat at 8:32 AM on December 10, 2012


Some of what it takes to earn the right to wear such beautiful clothing....
posted by mule98J at 9:48 AM on December 10, 2012


I'm gonna be that person that wonders what kind of an impact a diet of just fish and meat has on the human body and if the Nenets ever have access to fruits or vegetables...

Cecil Adams: "We know Eskimos got enough vitamin C in their traditional diet to survive because obviously they did."

The Inuit paradox
posted by dhartung at 2:04 PM on December 10, 2012


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