Russia Komi and Nenets nomads reindeer herders

Russia - White nomads
Reindeers, snow and no videotapes
Photos: Alexander Fedorov
The Bolshezemelskaya tundra, in the Vorkuta region, is the very Northern end of the Komi Republic, in Russia. It is a place, where no roads exist and life runs in an extremely hard way. There is only one railroad which connects the mining town of Vorkuta with the rest of the country. Everything else is a deserted plain of nothing for thousands of square miles, hit by severe weather conditions for most of the year with temperature reaching down to -57C.

For hundreds of years, Komi and Nenets nomads reindeer herders, have been living here surviving against the very rough nature of the far North of Russia. Even now - in our modern times - they have to live more or less the very same way as before, struggling with extreme cold, snow and solitude. Their life is mostly untouched by progress; they still have to migrate and literally follow their animals - mostly on foot - towards the Northern areas, along the ancient routes. Although life near the new railroad delivers some drops of progress - snowmobiles, TV and cellular network - all those amenities are useless for most of the year, while families leave civilisation for the annual migration.
Russia Komi and Nenets nomads reindeer herders
International photojournalism