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About the exhibition

These images taken over 25 years, between 1993 and 2018, document the daily life of the Nenets in the Yamal region of Northwest Siberia. They are the largest indigenous group in Siberia with a population of 45,000. About 30,000 live in the Yamal region, which is roughly the size of France. Many still lead a traditional nomadic lifestyle, the remainder live in villages and small towns. The name, ‘Yamal,’ means ‘the end of the land’ in the Nenets language.

Traditionally Nenets lived a nomadic existence, breeding reindeer, fishing, hunting and gathering. Today they mostly live in towns and villages. Schools provide children with a formal education leading to a variety of careers, some return to help their family look after their reindeer herd.

Reindeer breeding plays an important role in both the culture and livelihood of the Nenets. Around 14,500 herders manage approximately 700,000 reindeer in the forests and tundra of the Yamal. Recently loss of reindeer pastures due to the development of the oil and gas industry has placed pressure on the life of many herding families. Over 90% of Russia's natural gas is produced in the region.

These photographs were taken by British photographer Bryan Alexander who specialises in documenting the life of Arctic peoples and the issues that affect them. He has spent the past 47 years working in isolated native communities around the Arctic.