Northern exposure: mining on Svalbard captured in black and white

The distant Arctic archipelago of Svalbard is home to the most northerly mines in the world. The first settlers on the island, which belongs to Norway, were Soviet coal miners in the 1920s. London-based photographer Anna Filipova set off from her London home to document the life and work of the hardy Russian miners who still brave the northern freeze. The summer months are blessed with 24-hour daylight, but winter brings total darkness and temperatures as low as -40°C. Filipova has long been fascinated by the north: "The harsh weather conditions and isolation create a truly unique environment," she explains. "It shows an interesting perspective on human beings and our existence in the natural world." Her chosen style, distinctive black and white, is crucial to Filipova's photography practice: "Black and white photography is free from the distraction of colour. It creates a serious tone of documentation and truth."

20 November 2013

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