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Elena Chernyshova December 4, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.
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Norilsk , Russia 2012.

Elena Chernyshova (b.1981 USSR) is a self-taught photographer who after two years of work as an architect left her job and bicycled from Toulouse to Vladivostok and back again: 30,000 kilometers, 26 countries and 1,004 days. The trip led her to decide to become a photographer. In 2011 she received a grant from the Lagardère Foundation to create the photo documentary ‘Days of Night – Nights of Day’ about the daily life of the industrial city of Norilsk, located 400 kilometers north of the polar circle, in Siberia. Elena’s work has been published in National Geographic, Le Monde, Internazionale, Days Japan, A/R magazine, Newsweek Russia, and Ecology and Life. Her awards include: World Press Photo 2014; Days Japan Awards and others.

About the Photograph:

“I was attracted by this couple and wanted to do a photo without disturbing them but at the last moment the girl noticed me and glanced in my direction. We spoke a bit after. They were both born in Norilsk. Their parents came in the 1970’s, attracted by high salaries and economic advantages. They planned to work for five years and leave, but ended up staying. A typical Norilsk story. Now the young are dreaming of leaving Norilsk to build their own lives in other parts of Russia. There are no green areas in Norilsk so people have to travel 30 kilometers by bus and walk for about four  kilometers to reach nature.”