Evgenia Arbugaeva: Arctic Stories Podcast

Over seven themed podcast chapters, the award-winning photographer, Evgenia Arbugaeva takes us on a journey through her long-term project, Hyperborea - Stories from the Russian Arctic, and unpacks the spirited stories behind six photographs.

(Download full transcripts)

Photo: From the series Weather Man, 2013 © Evgenia Arbugaeva Courtesy the artist and The Photographers’ Gallery

Arctic Stories - Introduction

In this prelude, Evgenia introduces us to her long-term project, whilst touching on the dynamics between people and her photography, and the instantly grounding experience in the Arctic as a visually cleansing and emotional reality.


 

Photo: From the series Kanin Nos © Evgenia Arbugaeva Courtesy the artist and The Photographers’ Gallery

Chapter 1: The Lighthouse Keepers

In this chapter, Evgenia talks us through the interesting and intimate story of the meteorologists and lighthouse keepers. The couples, Evgenia and Ivan, photographed with their dog named Dragon, collect water samples to measure the salinity of the seawater in extreme freezing conditions.


 

Photo: From the series Kanin Nos © Evgenia Arbugaeva Courtesy the artist and The Photographers’ Gallery

Chapter 2: Apples That Travelled A Long Way

Before embarking on the journey to Kanin Nos, Evgenia asked the lighthouse keepers what items she should bring them. To her surprise, it was a specific response – one kilo of cucumbers, 10 bulbs of garlic and one kilo of apples. Explore the story behind the apples that travelled a long way.


 

Photo: From the series Dikson © Evgenia Arbugaeva Courtesy the artist and The Photographers’ Gallery

Chapter 3: During the light of Aurora

In this chapter, Evgenia describes the unpredictability of the Northern Lights, lasting for a few minutes, or a few hours. After photographing the deserted town of Dikson, and the lights faded muting everything into darkness, listen to the dream-like story Evgenia and her brother experienced during the light of Aurora Borealis.


 

Photo: From the series Dikson © Evgenia Arbugaeva Courtesy the artist and The Photographers’ Gallery

Chapter 4: The Piano

Despite warnings of polar bears and extreme conditions, hear why Evgenia returned to this abandoned room when the Northern Lights appeared, with nothing but stars sparkling in unison, a piano, and the soundtrack of silence.


 

Photo: From the series Chukotka © Evgenia Arbugaeva Courtesy the artist and The Photographers’ Gallery 

Chapter 5: Circle of Life

In this penultimate chapter, Evgenia unpacks the significance and spirit of community, closeness and connection to the people and life that she photographs in the Arctic. Hear the story behind the photograph from her Chukotka series.


 

Photo: From the series Chukotka © Evgenia Arbugaeva Courtesy the artist and The Photographers’ Gallery 

Chapter 6: The Walrus

In this closing chapter, Evgenia speaks on the theme of solitude. From her eerie, yet enchanting experience of being stranded in a hut by a herd of walruses – to the idea of understanding solitude: in the city, in the Arctic, in lockdown, in life.