Distant charm: the native peoples of Siberia, and their everyday lives

Photographer Claudine Doury's black-and-white series about Siberian native peoples

11 August 2015

Between 1996 and 1998, photographer Claudine Doury took several trips to Siberia to document the life of some of its 26 native peoples. This immense territory is famous for its harsh climate, decaying industry and rich natural resources, such as oil and mineral deposits, but its native peoples are less well known. With her high-contrast black-and-white images, Doury provides an intimate insight into the everyday life of the Siberian peoples. Although several images show the hard weather conditions, a joyful warmth radiates from other pictures of family affection, closeness and love. “Peoples of Siberia was my very first photo project” says Doury. “I travelled to the river Amur once and there I discovered the Nanaï people. It reminded me of Edward Curtis’s pictures of Native Americans and I thought that nothing had been done concerning the native people of Siberia.” With this series, Doury created an important portrait of some tribes that, although very much reduced in number, are still alive today.