bio

img_1379.jpgThe Nenets people of the Siberian arctic are the guardians of a style of reindeer herding that is the last of its kind. Through a yearly migration of over a thousand kilometres, these people move gigantic herds of reindeer from summer pastures in the north to winter pastures just south of the Arctic Circle. No-one knows for certain whether it is the reindeer that lead the people or vice versa. What is certain is that fewer places on earth are home to a more challenging environment, an environment where temperatures plummet to -50C and where crossing the worlds fifth largest river as it deep-freezes is just part of the routine. Such a difficult environment unites the people physically through a regimented work ethic, but far more importantly, the Yamal-Nenets are unified by a robust and vibrant culture. It is a culture that has had to survive a turbulent history, from early Russian colonisation, to Stalin’s terror regime, to the modern day dangers of a rapacious oil and gas development programme.