Menu

Evgenia Arbugaeva photographs the remote town of Tiksi on the Siberian coast of Russia

Tiksi evgenia Arbugaeva photography

Evgenia Arbugaeva was born in the remote town of Tiksi on the Siberian coast of Russia. She studied Art Management at the International School of Moscow and in 2009 graduated from the ICP’s photojournalism and documentary program. She now works between Russia and New York.

Arbugaeva writes:

Tiksi is a real town, situated on the Arctic coast of Siberia. I was born in Tiksi in 1985 and spent my childhood days there. In the days of the Soviet Union, Tiksi was an important military and scientific base. People came from all over the country, some driven by employment opportunities, and others driven by a romantic dream of the far North. As the introduction implies, although the town is very far north and surrounded by vast expanses of tundra, there was an abundance of beauty. After the fall of the USSR my family, along with many others, boarded the windows of our home and left for a bigger city. I was 8 when we left, and ever since then I have never been able to forget Tiksi. The scenery, the colors, and the moments of pure childhood imagination made a lasting impression on me. I have always wanted to be that little girl again.

Last winter and fall for the first time in 18 years I went back to Tiksi. The scenery was still there, but the town was nearly abandoned. I met Tanya, a young girl who reminded me of myself when I was a kid. She had a similar fascination with the sea and the tundra, and a similar urge to explore her environment. Soon after meeting Tanya, she told me how much she admired Jacque Ives Cousteau (the red hat is a tribute to her hero). She quickly became my friend and my guide to Tiksi. In the fall of 2012, Tanya’s family—just like my own 18 years ago—will leave Tiksi behind. They see no future in the small town and plan to move to a larger city.

Tiksi evgenia Arbugaeva photography

Tiksi evgenia Arbugaeva photography

Tiksi evgenia Arbugaeva photography

Tiksi evgenia Arbugaeva photography

Tiksi evgenia Arbugaeva photography

Tiksi evgenia Arbugaeva photography

Tiksi evgenia Arbugaeva photography

Tiksi evgenia Arbugaeva photography

Tiksi evgenia Arbugaeva photography

Tiksi evgenia Arbugaeva photography

  • http://www.robhann.com Rob Hann

    Beautiful… magical!

  • Carolyn White

    Beautiful pictures. They draw you in and you almost feel as though you are there.

  • Giulio

    I am very curious to know haw people live in Tiksi, a town so far and with a so hard wheater. I see often in internet images of Magadan, Kolyma, Tiksi, and I ask myself how is possibile to live there and if the persins are happies or not. Siberia is a beatutiful country but full of sadness, I think.
    I live in south Italy and I should like , one time in mylife, to visit Tiksi.
    How is possible ?

  • Irina Blyth (maiden Gulevich)

    I was, like Evgenia, born in Tiksi in 1981. And like Evgenia’s family, my parents left Tiksi when i was 10 years old. Many people told me that i have lost 10 years of my childhood, cause i spent them in such remote and abandoned place.
    However i would like to point that those years were best years of my life. I would never be able to forget purity of snow, or vivid greens in summer. I know i was forbidden to go far away from my home, but me and my friends several times sneaked out and went to outer skirts of town to explore. I have seen polar fox and polar owl in it’s natural habitat, soaring for freedom. It’s something that you could never forget.
    My eyes are full of tears, that when now i’m looking at the pictures of Tiksi now and in my mind i have flashes back of what it used to be. I miss Tiksi, i would like to go back, but at same time someone told me “never go back to where you used to be happy, cause you might be disappointing”.
    I visit “old” Tiksi a lot in my dreams, and i know i can always go back.
    Thank you Evgenia to share it with us.

  • Tatiana

    Cool pics I have tears on my eyes too