Baby, it’s cold outside: evocative documentary photography at -35°C

Temperatures fall sharply the Nenets may spend days in the same place

The Nenets — who live at daily temperatures of -35°C (-31°F) in northern Siberia, wash just once a year and eat raw reindeer liver to survive — are documented in beautiful black and white monochrome photographs made by photographer Sebastião Salgado, possibly the best-loved photojournalist in the world.

Reviewer Laura Cummings says of his subjects:

These people endure the coldest temperatures imaginable. They stand like statues, apparently frozen still, positioned against the snowbound winds that drive the snow across the picture in silvery blizzards. They stand, and they withstand.

(And mainland Australians think my island home of Tasmania is cold!)

More images from this remarkable series follow…

Ice cut out of a frozen lake is melted and then used for cooking & drinking Portraits of Nenets in their tchoums The larger sledges are driven by the women North of the Ob River, about 100 kilometers

These photographs of the Nenet can be found in Salgado’s book Genesis, published just last month to coincide with the opening of the exhibition Genesis at the Natural History Museum, London.

The book consists of photographs of landscapes and wildlife, as well as of human communities that continue to live in accordance with their ancestral traditions and cultures.

Laura continues:

The Natural History Museum has a coup – the global premiere of an epic photographic project [which] has taken eight years… Genesis is its title, and its scope is unashamedly biblical. Salgado wants to go back to the beginning, to find a world that has not yet been ruined by mankind so that we may see the Eden that time forgot. He wants us to know the animals, plants and indigenous tribes that represent what he calls, controversially, the most pristine parts of nature.

Such beautiful light in these pictures…

To see more of Salgado’s work, click here.

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