Photo of the week: would you brave -30C for a baptism in the Russian North?

Photo of the week: would you brave -30C for a baptism in the Russian North?

27 January 2017

Our photo of the week, taken by Russian-born London-based artist Alisa Oleva, shows two figures taking a dip in the isolated Russian mining town of Norilsk.

Not only is Norilsk the second largest town in the Arctic Circle, it’s also known for being one of the worst polluted cities in the world. Oleva travelled here to take part in the first ever PolArt residence organised by the State Museum of Exploration and Development History of Norilsk Industrial District. The co-author of The Demolition Project, Oleva’s practice revolves around the urban environment and walking.

Wandering around the city’s monolithic plants and pastel-coloured Khrushchev-era housing blocks, and coming face-to-face with blizzards, she also came across a midnight baptism happening outdoors during Norilsk’s polar nights. Taken last week, when temperatures plummeted to -30C, the artist told The Calvert Journal that there were nearly 100 people in the water — “Even the priest was there.”

You can see more pictures from her Norilsk trip on her Instagram.

PolArt will invite three artists for the residency next winter— you can find more information here (in Russian).

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