Elena Anosova – Out of the Way

Elena Anosova

Out of the Way

[ EPF 2017 – FINALIST ]

The project was created on the far away territories of the Extreme North of Russia, where bad accessibility and isolation, special relationship with nature, and following the century-long ways of life involve unique mythology of the region where the fictional things are very often more important than modern reality. These lands are immersed into the flow of their own life activity, where the past and the present surprisingly interlace. My ancestors were hereditary hunters in a small settlement near Nizhnyaya Tunguska River. Almost 300 years ago they came to colonize Siberia, then assimilated into the Evenkis and founded a village in taiga. They lived in an old house as a large family with more than 15 children. 



Nowadays the population of the village is 100 adults, and all of them are distant relatives: those who are not brothers, are related in a neighbourly way. Life of this part of my family, my father’s siblings and numerous cousins and nephews, has not changed for centuries in that remote area surrounded with pristine wilderness. Modern civilization penetrates slowly and fragmentarily in there, it is intricately woven into the local way of life. The closest town is 300 km away, and the transport connection functions only in winter time. Local and family legends and traditions are still mighty in the settlement.



Short Bio

Originally hailing from the picturesque region of Baikal, artist Elena Anosova (born in 1983) is currently based in Moscow and Irkutsk. Anosovass work is centered around lives in closed institutions, isolation, social stigmatization. The impulse of research of such communities arose in a reflection of her teenage period spent at the closed rehabilitation boarding school. She would like to takes a closer look at the dynamic interplay of processes of isolation and surveillance, at unique qualities of emotional and social relationships within restrictions of artificially insulated societies. Also Elena Anosova works with subjects of borders, identity and collective memory in the territory of Siberia, Extreme North and Russian Far East.


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The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation

5 Responses to “Elena Anosova – Out of the Way”

  • Absolutely Sublime.

  • I do love these pictures. They evoke so much about the place and the people who live in it. Much about it looks familiar. Excellent, Elena. Congratulations.

    Given the fine nature of the photographic work, I hate to be pedantic, but a place with Taiga forest is not going to have an average temperature of -45 C. If it did, there would be no forest at all. Although I do know Russia has recorded far and away the coldest temperature in the northern hemisphere (-89.2 C), I still could not believe anyplace in Russia has an average of -45 C, so I did a little googling and from what I came up with there are regions in Northeast Russia where the coldest month of the year averages -38 c. From my limited research, this appears to be coldest average for any month anywhere in Russia. And those are moose antlers, not elk.

    Again, I hate to be pedantic, but when photographers are presenting documentary work, it is important to be as factually accurate as you can. I suspect the moose antler error was an error in translation, as I am certain Elena knows her moose.

  • Bill a moose in the US is called an Elk in Europe.

  • Thanks, hharry. I didn’t know that. I would say that puts it into the realm of a translation issue. What name do they use to identify elk?

  • The Eurasian elk (Alces alces) moose (Alces americanus)

    American Elk is pretty much a European red deer.

    Photos get better the more I look at them.

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