Train to the Future
Norilsk is the northernmost city in the world with a population of over 150,000 people. An artificially built industrial city during Stalin's repressions, Norilsk is popular for its various mineral resources and large mining operations. Among people who grew up in central Russia and have never been to the Arctic Circle, cities like Norilsk are associated with permafrost, lack of light, depressing landscapes and dark history. But I wanted to trace more general lines, and through observing the city, among the surrounding ruins, to see a reflection of Russia's contemporary identity, built on the constant approach to the point of no return, to the pressing of the «nuclear button», to total catastrophe. Norilsk turned out to be a suitable setting to try to reflect the figurative state of Russia and to answer the question: at what point is this country on the threshold of total collapse or a new future? How can death and the process of decomposition reflect the context of a country whose foundations are fear, trauma, violence, poverty? In a repressive state, it is difficult to speak openly unless you have left the country. A very large number of people have to keep silent, you have to choose careful words or go into isolation, incubation waiting for the end. When will this war end? And how will it end? Will Russia have a long-overdue rethinking of history and the horrors committed in the present? I cannot answer any of these questions.