Capturing the beauty and many facets of a mysterious landscape.
Fascinated by the European Arctic, Paris-based photographer Céline Clanet has created an extensive collection of images that take the viewer on a trip to frozen lands. Her latest series, “KOЛA” or “KOLA” offers a comprehensive look at a mysterious area, the Kola Peninsula. Also called the Russian Lapland or Murmansk Oblast, this remote territory is as mysterious as it is captivating. It sits at Russia’s most north-western point, above the Arctic Circle, between the Barents Sea and the White Sea. Fragmented in both physical and conceptual ways, the area is home to different types of communities. Apart from Murmansk, the largest city in the Arctic, Kola also houses an indigenous reindeer herding population, heavy mining industries, and military activities. Captured by Céline Clanet over a five year period, the Kola photography series shows the breathtaking beauty of the icy landscape as well as the everyday lives of its inhabitants.
Invisible borders divide the land, but everyone who lives here must overcome the harsh climate, with polar weather all-year round and a two-month winter that plunges the territory in darkness and extreme cold. Clanet’s images allow the viewer to explore the secluded peninsula and get a glimpse at this remote land. Kola has many facets. It’s the home of the Sámi people who fight to maintain their identity. The location of the Northern Fleet and the “closed cities” filled with military installations. A strategic position during the two World Wars. A place where heavy mining and reindeer herding share the same snowy landscape.
Bold and striking or quiet and subtle, Céline Clanet’s work paints a detailed and nuanced portrait of this peninsula. The Kola photography series will be published in France by Editions LOCO in June, 2018. Photographs© Céline Clanet.