Size: 16 x 16 cm (approx.)
Softcover, leporello, signed. Texts in German, English, Nenets.
In the suburbs of Vorkuta in the north of the Arctic Circle, there is a boarding school that hosts only children of the Nenets, the nomadic people of the Tundra. In winter the school hosts about 60 children. In summer they live with their families. The photos by the Japanese artist Ikuru Kuwajima show the children as active and enthusiastic participants in his project; the classroom has become a photo studio. The children have brought objects with them that bear witness to their origins and the problems they face in adapting to the world of contemporary Russia. In many of the children’s drawings that Kuwajima has chosen for the back cover of his foldout book, there are still many traditional forms of these ornamental drawings. Ikuru Kuwajima communicates to us the magic and the energy of this distant children’s world; at the same time, he allows us to sense the gradual disappearance of the old ways.
After growing up in Japan and studying in journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Ikuru Kuwajima has been living and photographing in various post-Soviet states in Eastern Europe and Central Asia including Kazakhstan and Ukraine in the past 8 years. He now lives in Kazan, Russia.