The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Name: Elena Chernyshyova
Cities: Norilsk, Kodinsk (both in Krasnoyarsk Krai)
How long have you lived there?: 9 months and 4 days, respectively
A short description of your city?:
Norilsk is Siberia, 400 km beyond the Arctic Circle, permafrost, nine months of winter, 45 days of Polar Night, a city that can only be reached by plane... It has the world's largest metallurgical plant for the mining and production of nickel, cobalt, lead, palladium and platinum.
Kodinsk is located in Siberia, in Krasnoyarsk region. The city was created for the builders of the Boguchansky Hydroelectric Station, which is along the Angara River. Due to the collapse of the USSR and temporary stoppage of work on the station's construction, it took 30 years to complete and was only opened in 2014.
Tell us something about your city that only locals would know:
Norilsk: Whenever there is a serious blizzard or the temperature drops really low, and kids should not go to school, an aktirovka is declared. The kids stay home and their homework assignments are sent out as text messages.
Saguday – a disk made from fresh, northern fish.
A taxi ride through the city only costs 100R ($1.50).
Kodinsk: Several regions of Kodinsk have unofficial names, like India and Lukomorye. The "sea" – Boguchanskoye Reservoir – was still in the planning stages when the more poetic name Lukomorye took hold. India is simply a monument to certain Kodinsk residents: a region of individual homes that was built through group effort – a method popular in the 1980s with the Komsomol-youth projects – on nights and weekends.
Which places or sites are a must for someone to see if they visit your city?
Norilsk: Shmidt Hill (Gora Shmidta), with its old tunnels, the remains of a narrow gauge railway, and an excellent view of the city. Also, the abandoned villages of Medvezhy and Zapadny.
Kodinsk: Boguchanskaya Hydroelectric Station. Children's playgrounds with their metal sculptures. The horseback riding club Mustang, in Syromolotovo.
Tell us a bit about your photography, how long you have been doing it and what you are interested in: 17 years. I shot on film and now shoot digital. I find the entire process interesting. I love to shoot the daily lives of people.
The Old Town of Norilsk. Norilsk is one of the biggest metallurgy centers in the world and it is also among the eight most polluted cities in the world.Elena Chernyshova
In the city house numbers are written in three- or six-meter figures for better orientation especially in snowstorms when visibility is low.
We asked Ivan Kobilyakov, whose story on filming wild wolves in Putorana appeared in the Sep/Oct 2014 issue of Russian Life, to give us an update on the project and how filming has gone this summer. He also supplied new photos.
Finding the remains of the prehistoric giant mammoth in the far reaches of northern Siberia is not an unusual occurrence. Bones and tusks reveal themselves when the permafrost thaws. However, the discovery of an intact mammoth is something for scientists to get excited about.