Chukotka is a land of loneliness

Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Chukotka has so much sheer space, uninhabited and inaccessible, that it’s as if no one needs you but yourself. However, the state needs Russian travelers, diverse specialists, the military, and seamen, who have put down roots in Chukotka for generations already. Sent there by the state some time ago, they now dream of returning to the “mainland”. The Chukchi, a critically endangered minority people, may also want to go to the mainland, but they cannot leave their ancestors, whose memory they traditionally revere, and this matters more than any bureaucratic subsidies. Clergymen and Orthodox believers are another thing: in these sparsely, sporadically populated locales, those who pray are few and far between, and it seems that God is the only one aware that above all these people need themselves. Nevertheless the greatest and most prominent feature of life in Chukotka is necessity. Relatives and friends, acquaintances and colleagues, go visiting each other, across the street, from one entranceway to another of the same half-empty, half-ruined buildings built half a century ago. All around are empty streets, with the empty eye-sockets of windows, often bereft of glass, and empty abandoned lots. But here and there a light shines, and here people live, and work. And while they might not need you, with your camera and your casual interest, you need them all, without exception.

Where is the paradox? In the fact that you have been gazing upon the boundless ocean, the majestic hills and the distant stony horizon somewhat longer than a tourist, a seasonal worker, or a foreign resident agent. You remember the way you rubbed shoulders with the sea hunter, the old huntsman and the fisherman, the harbor master and the seacook, the simple Chukcha boy or the priest, perhaps a monk. Are you starting to understand something? You are becoming aware that without people Chukotka is dead, and that it is looking for you, and waiting for you, and that it needs you.

Misha Maslennikov
2007


Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

The House of Culture “Rogudiv”


Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

exhibitions

Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Vitebsk 2018

'Ordinary Photos' 20 — 24 June, 2018 III International Festival of Photography “FotoKrok” named after Sigismund...
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

St. Petersburg 2016

'Life without fanfare and parade' 2 September — 1 October, 2016 Interdistrict Centralized Library System. M.Yu....
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Norilsk 2014

'Invisible country' 7 — 30 November, 2014 Liberty.SU presents the photo exhibition “Invisible Country”....
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Moscow 2014

II Moscow Photographic Salon 'Independent Authors' 20 — 28 September, 2014 On 20 September, the Theophany Art...
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Odessa 2013

'Ordinary Photos' 1 — 15 October, 2013 Noga Creative Union, Department of Culture, Nationalities, Religions and the...
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Nizhny Novgorod 2013

'3 Outskirts' 3 — 16 April, 2013 Noga Creative Union, Ministry of Culture of the Nizhny Novgorod Region, and Russian...
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Ogre 2012

'Urban Environment' 13 — 31 October, 2012 Association “Ogre Photo Clubs”, within the framework of the festival “Photo...
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

United Kingdom 2012-19

'Our Stories' 2012-2019 The Photographic Angle presents a Mobile Photo Exhibition project “Our Stories”. London —...
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

United Kingdom 2012-21

'200 Faces' 2012-2021 The Photographic Angle presents a Mobile Photo Exhibition project “200 Faces”. London —...
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Yekaterinburg 2012

'3 Outskirts: Karelia, Altai, Chukotka' 14 May  — 20 June, 2012 Noga Creative Union and GM Photo Gallery present...
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Sydney 2012

'Birthmark on the Map' 4 May — 3 June, 2012 The second-largest Head On Photo Festival presents the group exhibition...
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Moscow 2010

'No distinction' May 20 — June 20, 2010 Volunteer group Indifference presents the exhibition project...
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Moscow 2008

'WE' 8 — 28 September, 2008 Noga Creative Union and Theophania Art Gallery present the first solo exhibition...
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Vitebsk 2024

‘And Quiet Flows the Volga’ 26 — 30 June 2024. Noga Creative Union, within the framework of the IX International...
Narva 2018. Misha Maslennikov. Documentary photography. Odessa

Vitebsk 2024

‘Retrospective. Lith’ 26 June — 30 June 2024. The IX International Festival of Photography ‘FotoKrok’ named after...