michael christopher brown – sakhalin [EPF Finalist]

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Michael Christopher Brown


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Emerging Photographer Fund – FINALIST (number four of eleven)


Photographed predominantly in the broken, rusted, skeletons of communities around Sakhalin Island, Russia, these images explore the wintry atmosphere of a remote land and its people, long scarred from the Soviet era and left behind in modern times.

Artist Statement:

I have always searched for obscure places to escape to and explore. I spent much of my childhood carving trails in mustard and cornfields and wandering the roads and woods of rural Washington State. As I grew, my interest turned to extreme sports and through these activities I reaped fullness in life. Moreover, as a stuttering youth these solo, expressive pursuits were seemingly vital vehicles of communication.

After physical injuries alienated me from this lifestyle and my friends, my father taught me photography. The camera led me inward and I discovered the richness in not only documenting experiences and the physical world but in visually interpreting my surroundings by noticing what was happening inside myself. To see beyond the depressed emotions in my life, photography, paradoxically, showed me a way to recognize the life behind things, a means of expression beyond the physical world.


Raised in the Skagit Valley, a farming community in Washington State, Michael earned a BA in Psychology and Art from Western Washington University and the University of Hawaii in 2000.

After completing an MA in Visual Communication from Ohio University in 2003, he won the College Photographer of the Year Competition and completed internships at The State Journal-Register and National Geographic Magazine before beginning freelance work in 2006.

In 2007, his essay profiling industry in the Pearl River Delta Region of China was broadcast on PBS during The News Hours with Jim Lehrer. Later that year, American Photo named him one of fifteen emerging “photo pioneers.” In 2008 he was selected for the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass, named a Magenta Emerging Photographer, a PDN 30 and a ‘Young Gun’ by The Art Directors Club in New York. In 2009 he won a Juror’s Choice Award from the Santa Fe Project Competition.

A contributing photographer to the Grazia Neri photo agency, Michael is working on a project about Broadway.


Related links

Michael Christopher Brown

Editor’s Note: Please only one comment per person under this essay..Futher discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks…david alan harvey

64 Responses to “michael christopher brown – sakhalin [EPF Finalist]”

  • still down in mexico and can not view the images… but am very familiar with this beautiful essay and so THRILLED michael is one of the finalist. congrats mi amigo!!! will buy you a beer at LOOK!!

  • I agree with Gina. I knew this essay by Michael already and love it too.
    I look forward to seeing more and now this might happen if he gets the grant.
    Congrats Michael and good luck!

  • Congrats Mike! Good to see your work in the final 10.

  • Some very good images. I guess the appeal of some of these images is that they were taken in a place few people will go. But I don’t really feel any emotional connection to the people you have photographed, which is echoed in the generic captions, which remind me of the soulless captions VII photographers tend to use. You need to make me care about these people.

  • LOVE IT.

    You can just drop these into Geographic! Love the style, feel and texture.

    I am sure this will make a great book when finished.

  • Congratulations to Michael for being a finalist first of all but more importantly for a beautiful and extremely well edited set of images…

    Good luck.


  • Some really wonderful images here! I feel exactly the opposite of Jim in regard to the portraits. I think you’ve captured some really authentic moments between people and between the subjects and yourself. I think that because I’m a 4×5 shooter, I get a little annoyed by the tilted perspectives in some of these photographs. Sometimes this sort of off-kilter view helps emphasize the content of the image, but other times it just feels distracting. All-in-all, I really enjoyed this set of photographs. Good luck!

  • Congratulations..I love the way you think and see..very touching.

  • I’ve also seen this essay before and love it very much. So glad to see it among finalists! Michael, congratulations! Keep my fingers crossed for you to be the winner ;-)

  • nice to see you on this mike. love this project. nice stuff amigo.

  • I’m speechless. This is amazing work. Love the color, light, texture. Congratulations Michael.

  • Strong essay. Gives me a chill. Brrrrr!!!!

  • Love the work, I remember this essay and can see all the new additions as well. I love 19 and 20 and the one in the club with the dancer. I really related to your comments of physical injuries and it leading to Photography, we have that in common, so even more amazing how much you have achieved. Congrats! a well deserved EPF finalist and I must say what an impressive Bio!

  • YES!!! beautiful mike, beautiful.

  • I have seen some of this before right? strange sense of deja vu anyways. Really like the use of colour. Overall has a good feel to it. I think the captions are a bit flat but that is to be expected here as we are looking at a photographic essay and any expanded text will be written when this is published at a later date[right?]. I think its generally strong and it does give me a glimpse into this world. I am with jim slightly on the distance i feel from some of it, but that well be that i am distant from most things anyway :)
    Good work. Love the crossing dog shot.


    This latest edit of your Sakhalin essay seems like quite the strongest yet. I think you have succeeded admirably in combining evocative and authentic ‘sense of place’ documentary with your personal reaction and interpretation of the place. Some of the images are much stronger than others and could easily stand on their own (1, 2, 7, 8, 10, 15, 16, 19, and 20) but I saw nothing that I felt should be left out in order to improve the essay as a whole. Number 15 in particular I think encapsulates the entire essay, and I personally like it better even than Number 1 which is similar in theme. Seeing Number 20, I can’t help but be reminded of Sam Abell’s famous pears on the windowsill with the Kremlin in the background… I wonder if that photo was a conscious influence in your developing your style?

    ‘Sense of place’ documentary is what attracted me to photography in the beginning, and it is still my central interest. I have never been to Sakhalin, though I have seen its southern tip from the top of a mountain on Japan’s northernmost island, and have read a bit about it over the years. A Japanese photojournalist friend of mine, Ito Takashi, has worked there documenting the Koreans who were left behind when the Japanese surrendered the southern half of the island to the Soviets in 1945 (unfortunately, I cannot find any of his photos from Sakhalin on the Net). So it’s a place that I had at least a vague image of and some second-hand knowledge about. It is a pleasure to learn a bit more about it through your eyes. The Sakhalin you present is a place of winter, but of course it has other seasons besides (I’m told the bugs in summer are really unbearable)… it would be interesting for you to go back there at another time of year and present another facet of the place.

    I see by your bio that you are originally from what is now my part of the world. I live within walking distance of one of your alma maters, WWU, and sometimes give guest lectures there. I wonder if coming from a place where the landscape, climate, and natural world are such dominant factors in everyday life possibly makes you more sensitive to ‘sense of place’ and the weather than is true for dyed-in-the-wool city people?

    Best of luck to you, and I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

  • I looked at these for three times and the first time was without reading the artist statement. I have to say that I got a “dreamy” feeling of this essay. Somehow I don’t see this kind of remote areas as a “dreamy” thing… Maybe it was because of this vaseline-on-lens kind of softness in many pictures…I dunno. Little bit monotonius mood also comes from positioning the subjects in most o the pictures in the middle of the frame…

    About the contact with people: in my opinion the overall feeling is that the photographer is definitely outsider. Only couple of pictures shows the contact (like boys sitting in car). The distances to the main subject (and the size what main subject takes from the frame) is too similiar in most of the pictures that visually it gets maybe dull…when viewed as a essay. I can definitely see the potential of this story — the overall mood is definitely good, but it needs variation. I would like to see more contact, to getting closer – technically and mentally. To be an “outsider who is inside”.

    My favourite so far of the finalists.

  • Very nice…Not everyone sees these kinds of photos and that is the first reason why I really like these. I fealt a bit like I was looking at some of Jonas Bendikson’s work from the former Soviet Republics.
    I also like the way you get an overall idea of where you are, meaning aerial images and others close to people. These pictures have a soul.

    great work Michael!

  • I like these images very much. It reminds me of NATGEO magazine, when i’m looking at the photos. #10 and #15 are my favourite, but the whole essay is well photographed. Congrats to be in the final 10!

  • Buongiorno!
    this is the first time I leave a comment here, even though I have been constantly checcked .BURN since it was launched.

    Thank you David for creating this, it means so much to me. It’s the first blog ever actively partecipated to and a constant font of inspirations and motivations!

    Michael, you work deserve the best. The pictures are deep, visually stunning. They even manage to be vibrant in the loneliness feeling they provoke.
    Absolutely marvellous, congratulations!

    cheers, everybody!

  • Super classical somehow but super strong framed and landscape are amazing! Little bored about far east project on the other side…but really pro!

  • This work really shake me.

  • The level of play for this grant is very, very high. I don’t know if you could really call photographers who have won a World Press Photo award, been selected for the Joop Swart Masterclass and worked for National Geographic emerging. I mean they may be 20-30 years younger than some well known famous photographer, but they are working pretty much at the same level. . .

  • Excellent. The ice fisherman, the red-haired woman, the mountain. All of them. So glad to see this essay in the finalists.


  • I love landscapes!!

    All the rest is super Geo mag style and “déja vu”. A great performance, but quiet distant from human and far behind Delahaye, Sarfati, Bendiksen, Suau etc…

    I hope I am wrong but I start to imagine that this grant would help a photographer to produce a portfolio serie that magazine don’t produce anymore? …It’s really nice for photographer finally so at the end it’s a super help! I think Michael have great chance, depend wich magnum photographer will be in the jury…

  • Great pictures. The best work until now.

  • Michael, I loved your essay when it first appeared here on Burn a number of months ago, but now? My god, man, you have REALLY gone and done it! This edit is spectacular. The added images bring me ever more closely into the place and its people, especially the people. For you have turned what was primarily an exploration of place into an exploration of people. I now feel engaged with these folks, young and old alike. I want MORE! I want you to receive the funds that would allow you to go back time and time again so that you can build relationships and get to know other, more hidden sides to life on this land. And I concur with Sidney’s suggestion that you return during summer months as well. I’m sure the face and feeling of the place would be dramatically dfferent.

    Big congrats on being chosen as one of the ten EPF finalists, Michael. You deserve it!


  • Mike, you have emerged! :) Love love this project.. congratulations man!

  • Good to see your essay again Michael; congratulations on making the final ten. I like everything about this body of work – particularly the colour – you have captured the colour of cold! Looking at your edit, I’d drop photograph 18, I think. That’s it, can’t fault it and don’t want to.



  • First, congratulations Mike. I thought the work was beautiful the first time(s) i swam through it and still think it’s beautiful ;). I’m hoping you had the opportunity to read Chekhov’s book since the essay was originally published. If not, please do: still great relevance. I wont bog down time with additional words, expressed it all previously here:


    best of luck

  • How wonderful to see this essay here. It was pure dead brilliant then, now it’s even pure dead brillianter. (hey, if Kathleen can make up words)

    Michaels talent and vision are astounding. Masterful use of colour, wonderful compositions, sensitivity, perception, and most of all his ability to extract such beauty from such bleak surroundings. Work on his website is equally brilliant.

    This edit is even better than last time. It leaves me wanting more.


    Good luck Michael

  • Viva NatGeoooooo!!!
    man, once again,
    i just got reminded how much i missed my dentist…:(

  • I love this essay… Chekhovian, beautiful and misty-eyed. Congrats Michael, well deserved!

  • this is a beautiful essay…there’s a lovely ambiance to it. I really like what you’ve done so far but as others have said, I would also love to see you dig deeper with some of the people, and to get a sense of what the place looks like during other seasons. really hope to see this develop over time. for me, this is the strongest yet of four very strong grant contenders….good luck with it Michael

  • Technicals are just too diverse to me. I dont see the photographers language.

  • There is enough positives here to warrant a grant ……………. not sure about the cock my head and shoot images ……….. so David give the man the money so he can re shoot 1,2, 4, 5, 9, 10 and 20

  • I love this job, i´ve seen it before and its the kind of essay i would´ve loved to shoot.

    But i have one big question that keeps on bothering me: I do not understand what does EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHER mean??? this guy has worked for national geographic and all sorts of big publishers.
    I make this question because i am 21 years old, i know i have lots of raw potential that needs to be exploited, and i KNOW i am an emerging photographer, just like lots of other young ones.

    So, could someone please explain to me the term EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHER?!??! Almost every finalist i´ve seen has been published in lots of magazines and is represented by some agency. From what i get, even the likes of Peter van Agtmael or Kosuke Okahara could get in the contest.

  • Hummmm. Pretty crazy. Neat, but it’s just, just… so all over the place. I think I get a sense of Sakhalin, I think. Should I feel a disconnect? I think I’ll have another beer and watch what’s going on in Dialogue. I mean… like the pictures are pretty cool (no pun intended) but there is just this blurry sense I get out of this(no pun intended). Michael Christopher, what do we need to know about Sakhalin? Oh by the way nice images.

  • I really like it, is my favourite, for the moment!

  • I loved the essay, when it was first published on burn a few months back, but I think the new edit is superb.
    Congrats Michael.

  • Whether this essay wins the EPA award or not, it is a winner.

    BTW, what is the criteria for EPA? It seems like from his bio, Michael is quite established as a working photographer…not exactly “emerging”.

  • rose filtered light..
    a foreign land..
    I want to get closer,
    ‘make me care’
    than I already do…
    I would love to see this essay
    further explored..
    loved the ‘teen’ stuff,
    boys in car,
    kissing a
    belly button…
    love your vision
    use of color,
    so soft..
    rose like….

  • Like many others, I liked this essay when it first appeared on Burn., and love it now. I think it gives depth to life in Sakhalin, which before I always associated with bears and the KAL 007 disaster.

    As Sidney Atkins pointed out, that shot through through the hotel window reminded me of the “Kremlin pears” photo by Sam Abell. Whether that was an intentional “tip of the hat” or not, I think it works great in the essay.

    Congratulations, Michael!

  • Congratulations Michael, very cool work. I don’t coincide with other comments about the edition, i think it would be better with another more tight.

  • Maybe 13, sure 15 and 20 are good. For the rest, it’s ok, but it is neither a compelling documentary story, neither a total and personal subjective story. As in the previous essays, I see no vision beyond the all already long walked paths.

    I hoped to see something different here on this forum. Something beyond everyday sensibility.

    Do we have to praise an essay that does what magazine managers want? Or can there be a world beyond managers and art speculations?

    Can burn be a place where common grounds shift? And not a confirmation of what is already going on in the journalism, documentary and art world? Which all seem to me as terrible boredom and leading us further into a terrible black hole. Because the questions in there don’t go far enough. Where Goya, Van Gogh,
    Tarkovski, Bergmann, Robert Frank,…did their thing? In a world not seen, a new world of poetry. I am waiting for this…

    Not just a confirmation of what we all see as good for a publication in a magazine or a poster on our wall.
    It is ok to be “subjective” and ok to denounce “injustice”, but where is the thing that tells us something about our human nature, being the same time personal and all over? I hope it will come.

    All the essays until now, I have seen them already.. They are not bad, but…

  • Well done, Michael. Your essay that went up a few months ago was one of my favourites that I’ve seen on Burn. Good to see a few more photos from the series.

  • Michael, your ability to translate feelings into images is incredible. I want to see more!

  • Happy to see that Michael’s essay is among the “faboulous ten” ;) I’m not so sure that the current selection is better than the previous one, though.

  • I really, really like this essay. Have watched it over and over, and it´s just superb work. I love the “jump” from pic nr 6 to nr 7. The blue colurs and the boys with an ice-look, and then this hot hot bar scene with a naked woman. What does a naked woman do in this land of ice and cold???! This is good edit, it works, maybe because it´s a bit unexpected. Your pictures are beautiful, and it also creats new pictures im my head. I want to go to Russia, I see why many photographers hooked on this country…

  • Michael
    As I said when I first saw this essay I think it’s great. Congrats, you deserve to be here…


    Hey it’s Ross. Hurt my back then been struck with Swine Flu (not really) just the flu. Anyway, just got back from finally shooting again in the mountains. Would love to talk. Im emailing you a link to the new Patagonia stuff. Would you take a look and let me know when we can talk again. Hope all is well…

  • Interesting. I really liked this work when it first went up months ago. I still really like it, but this edit tends to be veering into Nat Geo land too much for me. The dancers, kids in the car, etc, while good photos in and of themselves, distract from this other more abstract thing you have going on that is very very good (imo).

    The captions I could do without. Just name the place – it’s obvious it’s a dog crossing an alley, you are looking through a window, etc etc. Never state the obvious in a caption. I like the abstractness of the photos. I think they tell me a lot about the place – in a different way then the obvious journo way.

    Anyway, I would love to see what you could do with Skagit Valley. I drive through there often on the way to San Juan Islands where my parents live and have always been struck with the light and farms and backroads and contrast between the valley and the mountains. Perhaps growing up there is partly what drew you to Sakhalin?

  • I can’t help looking at the pictures, and placing them on pages of a Natl Geo magazine, as counterpoints to a text. I am not sure they stand so well alone, as projecting a sense of that specific place. They seem to speak more of a time, an era, but applied to a general geography, that of the post-communist world where experiments with capitalism and renewed individualism has introduced a new culture, a new consumerism, and the unavoidable wild frontier “sins” so alike in any such place around the world. So, for me, I am not sure the pictures feel or speak that much. Without the text.

    I find the other essays on your site more visually enthralling, and terrifically inspiring (not “ferry”, though, it let me down after the others), where your talent shines, and well, there it is, what a super photographer you are. It’s a joy . Your place is definitely within the last ten, at the very very least….

  • What i take out of this essay is your edit, and making me think about the process of editing.
    I’d imagine most of us would be happy with the pictures you’ve uncovered from this cold lonesome place. i’m getting more curious about the pictures one leaves out looking at these essays.
    i also get what your saying about photography enriching your life as i also use photography to go out and find the richness of the world and try to document it enthusiastically so others can also see what i see. basically to share.

  • Dear Michael,

    It’s verly lovely works, and Actully realistic and slightly dreamy and romantic…
    It reminds me the movie,” Doktor Zhivago”.
    I enjoyed it very much and I love it.


    Thank you so much and congratulations!!

  • I love this essay, one of my favorite posts on Burn. Incredible style, an eclectic mix of compositions and a fantastic mix of journalism and art. I’m inspired.

  • Michael — Congratulations. This is one of my favorite essays that has been published on burn all year. I keep coming back to view it. I am glad to see it has been selected as a finalist. Well done.


  • Kathleen Fonseca

    i have waited a good while to comment on this essay. I have read all the comments and wish to respond specifically to those who feel that the photographer did not get close enough to his subjects. When i go through these photos i feel cold, i feel isolated, i feel alone, lonely, out of place. I feel like a foreigner. I feel like someone who will not be invited home to tea or Sunday dinner or to a wedding or birthday party. I am an alien viewing Michael´s experience as an alien. Michael was not a foreigner dropping into Miami Beach where people linger socially in the streets, on the beach, at the bars. This is a cold formidable place in the winter time.

    I don´t know this culture and it has not been revealed to us whether these people are friendly or not. And perhaps that is one unresolved problem with the essay. Michael tells us a lot about himself in the text but next to nothing about the nature of these people. Is this about Michael traveling abroad to a funky place to take pictures? Or is this about Michael revealing something to us about these people?. I do not know. We don´t know if the distance is his or theirs. If his, then i agree with the comments asking for him to get closer in a personal way. But if theirs then this is what i feel through all these photos. That he does not belong. He is an observer. If that is the overriding cultural response to newcomers then i think it is fair of Michael to allow us to feel that. But i honestly do not find answers to my questions in either the text or the photos.

    I like all the photos very much. I love the sense of steal blue cold and the softness makes me feel that even more. Like seeing the world through a constant fog of your own breath, a misting on your lens and glasses, a sense of forboding and being far, far from anyplace with an even remotely hospitable climate where only the hardy need apply. I do have a problem with #1 and #2. And i had a problem with these two the first time your essay was published on Burn. The first because of the very large area around the dog with no information. It´s white but not snow white. I am distracted by how over-exposed it is and it loses its effectiveness. #2 is so heavily post processed it looks artificial. I would love to see this same photo presented in a more realistic processing style. It would serve to highlight the bleakness of these apartment units. As it is now it looks like a model train village. 1&2 are very inconsistent with the rest of the work, in my opinion.

    Congratulations and best of luck to you, Michael, in the final decision.


  • I think its the most beautiful LOOKING essay among the finalists but not one that really tells me what the photographer tells me it tells me. Yes, Kathleen, he was a foreigner dropping in and it shows and its what I think is the weakness of it. There are some beautiful, graphic photos and to be honest I never cared about over exposures or technicals, no offense but I think people focus on the too much, I think it is a filler critique to be honest. Remember we talked about Capa’s quote about being close? Many of Capa’s photos were pretty bad technically but we dont care about that because Capa’s photos were close, as in commited and in there. This essay, while beautiful, really does make me feel like it was shot here and there without much of that commitment to get in and really expose what the photographer was photographing. Its weakness for me then is the focus on the graphics and aesthetics, and lack of any real meat. I knew nothing about Sakhalin before I saw this essay the first time on Burn and I know nothing about it after seeing 2 edits of it.

  • Im sorry to break the rule of posts per essay but I cant edit my post above…

    I think that if I were granting money I would award it for this essay. For all its shortcomings that I mentioned I think it is the one that has most room to grow, and most potential to explode. If Michael took the money and went to live there for a year and really shot this story from the inside it would be spectacular, because he has the beautiful aesthetics already and even what we have here is already good. Im looking at the essays and really this one has most potential to bridge a gap that leads to greatness.

  • Heya all, sorry just posting now but have had family in town so…

    Sidney & Charles: Interesting and I would say ‘yes.’ Growing up on farmland and always outside inspired a sensitivity to and inspiration from the land, an appreciation and understanding of the natural world, sense of place, that I may have never had, or had as much of, growing up in NYC per se…

    Wendy: thanks….definitely want to return and spend more time on Sakhalin. This is less than a month of work….not enough…but it’s expensive to go, which is why I haven’t gone since early 08

    Maqroll: interesting and agree with you somewhat…the questioning….the ‘new world of poetry’….the ‘shifting’…..brings to mind something hemingway said about writing:

    ‘…For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed. How simple the writing of literature would be if it were only necessary to write in another way what has been well written. It is because we have had such great writers in the past that a writer is driven far out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him. I have spoken too long for a writer. A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it…’

    sakhalin is similar to other pictures/projects in the past and, depending on who is viewing, may or may not be anything new….but as said in a posting when the story was originally published on burn, I was sent to the island on assignment and it was my first time in russia and the only purpose for going there…as before the assignment, I had no plans/inspiration to go there….so the series is not an attempt to recreate, in a different way, something I had already seen…so many great photographers have already done this….after completing the assignment I made the return trip to visit friends made and see more of the island…the aim being not to go to this place to try and make a story/essay/series that is unique and powerful and revealing…but to just have an experience while photographing along the way…and I feel lucky to have a few pictures that capture at least the memory of that experience…

    Kat: thanks for taking the time to comment….i agree with several things….

    But just to clarify – this series is not an attempt to make a statement about the people of Sakhalin….it was not photographed and edited in this way to show what is ‘beneath the surface’…to ‘get inside,’ reveal their soul or culture, pinpoint who they are or otherwise define them…these photographs are also not an attempt to paint an objective and factual portrait of the place or to convey what the ‘overriding cultural response’ to an outsider is….and they certainly are not an objective analysis and were not taken in an attempt to be ‘fair’ to differing perceptions….perhaps I gave the wrong impression, but the series is an exploration of a mood I experienced…the photographs are commenting on what I found interesting and are attempts at evoking a tone through a series of imagery… I was not trying to ‘say’ anything…You are correct that I was, in a sense, an ‘observer’ who did not ‘belong’….having just under a month to create this imagery, much time was spent just on logistics and traveling around the island to get to these locations…most of the imagery was made while traveling from one place to the next to get a taste of as many locations as possible….a fishing trip, in a way…

    Thanks, everybody, for the comments

  • AKMA(aka Civi) Help me, I’m loosing the love and dumping on Lance. I know he’s a good guy, but he’s not diggin’ deep enuf. Too many others have gone down that road and come back with just crumbs.

    I want Lance to get the nugget. Can you help? I promise great BBQ! Please tune in. It starts with Butt Rub and a Coke with salted peanuts.

  • As much I like this essay, and I do very much so, I also think the author could get closer to the subjects. Still, I agree with what Herve said about this fitting in Nat Geo magazine. Overall, it’s truly a great essay

  • Sakhalin is home to one of the worlds biggest oil and gas developments – Sakhalin energy. This development has had a direct effect on the local economy, as well as a detramental effect on local ineginious populations. The capital, Yuzhno Sakhalinsk, has experienced enormous growth since the onset of the Sakhalin 2 project. The city itself is a mecca for wealthy Russian and Japanese holiday makers. But if you go outside of Yuzhno you will see desperation and utter poverty.The contrast of the two is just epic.

    Really nice pictures, but it doesn’t really say much about Sakhalin Island.

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