Stay afloat

Evgeniya Strygina
May 28, 2023
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Teriberka is a tiny village on the coast of the Arctic Ocean. There were thriving fisheries here in Soviet times. The locals had good salaries. Store shelves were loaded with goods while the whole country was generally suffering from commodity deficiency. When the Soviet Union collapsed, local enterprises were closed, people started to leave this place in search of a better life. Houses, schools, hospitals were abandoned. The old ships were left to decay on the shore. There was no one to look after the graves in the cemetery, so they gradually disappeared. According to various sources, we still have information only about 1,000 out of 3,000 burials.

The Oscar-winning movie "Leviathan" that was filmed here changed the fate of the village. People from all over the world got to know about Teriberka and started coming here to see the polar lights and whales in their natural habitat. Previously undeveloped natural landscapes began to change — hotels and restaurants were built here. Currently, there are much more tourists than local residents in the village. The apartment block of the few people who still live here turned into a tourist attraction. Not everyone managed to get used to it and fit into this new world.

A series of photographs captures the place at a unique moment — at the junction of two eras: its maritime past that is literally sinking into the water and its future that is about to come and probably give the village a chance to stay afloat.

Evgeniya Strygina (b. 1989) is a London-based contemporary artist who specialises in landscape and architecture photography as she captures urban and natural environments to highlight both their relation to and their autonomy from human beings. Between 2017 and 2019, Evgeniya took part in at least a dozen group exhibitions in Moscow, including two shows at the MMOMA, art fairs, biennales and festivals, including the Festival of Visual, Sound and Performing Arts in Brindisi, Italy. After taking a hiatus from art photography, Evgeniya relocated to the UK in 2022 to resume her artistic career and work on new projects.
Evgeniya Strygina
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