The industrial Russian city of Norilsk, sitting on the permafrost above the Arctic Circle, is the seventh most polluted city in the world. Rich deposits of nickel, copper and palladium provide mining and smelting industries that create jobs and continue to draw people to the harsh landscape from other regions of Russia.
Elena Chernyshova's stark and beautiful photographs of life in the city are featuring in a new exhibition, "Days of Night - Nights of Day" at the Half King in New York City. She spoke to Dan Damon.
Watch the video and answer the questions below.
1 When were deposits discovered in Norilsk?
2 At what freezing temperatures do people go out?
3 Why did Norilsk attract people in Soviet time?
4 What services are good in the city?
5 What do families sometimes come back to Norilsk after leaving the city?
Very rich deposits were discovered in the beginning of 20th century. They thought just to create mines to do extractions of minerals and to send them to other regions, but after they decided to build factories and actually to create city.
It’s a city that’s freezing cold for much of year. Do people really go out in - 45 degrees weather?
Yes, we can of course, we can go out, - 45, - 50, we just need to wear quite good clothes to protect ourselves.
What brought people to Norilsk?
In Soviet time, it was very attractive economically, so a lot of people arrived there just to earn money to get a flat after in better regions of Russia, and they suppose to stay for five or ten years, for children like guidance, schools, and medicine are really good in the city. The salary there is very stable, so they stay there just to have a job. And I know also some families that left Norilsk, they spent one year outside, and after they just came back, because in some ways, the quality of life was better for them in Norilsk. It’s paradoxical, but it’s like this.
1 At the beginning of 20th century
2 -45, -50
3 It was attractive economically
4 guidance, schools, and medicine
5 Because the quality of life is better