Reindeer and the Northern Lights in Whisper of the Stars: Traditional Life in Arctic Siberia

| 28 February 2014

British photographer Bryan Alexander's spectacular pictures portraying the traditional life of indigenous peoples across the remote Russian Arctic are about to go on display at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in London.

Click the picture to launch the gallery

In 1971, using a Royal Society of Arts travel bursary, Bryan Alexander visited North West Greenland, where his time living in a small Inuit community sparked a lifetime of documenting the Arctic and its people.

The name of his exhibition at the Horniman, Whisper of the Stars, comes from Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in Eastern Siberia. Through more than 40 photographs – including one in which 1,000 reindeer drive across the tundra – Alexander reveals aspects of the lives of the Chukchi, Dolgan, Even, Khanty, Komi, Nenets, and Nganasan people.

Only a minority of Arctic peoples still maintain the old ways, but traditional activities remain important both culturally and economically.

“The lives of the peoples of Arctic Russia have changed dramatically,” says Fiona Kerlogue, the museum’s Deputy Keeper of Anthropology.

“These photographs capture in fascinating detail some of the traditional ways of life that continue, alongside modern practices, as people carve out an existence in extreme conditions.”

  • Whisper of the Stars: Traditional Life in Arctic Siberia opens on March 8 2014.

Pics: Bryan Alexander.

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