The ‘Pyramiden in my Heart’ exhibition

The world's northernmost photo exhibition opens in Spitsbergen (Svalbard)

The world's northernmost photo exhibition, ‘Pyramiden in my Heart,’ opened in the Russian settlement of Pyramiden on Spitsbergen at the local community center.

“My photo series emphasizes the people who live and work in Pyramiden today, the people we have to thank for the settlement continuing to live and receive tourists from around the world. People of different ages and professions, who are usually not included in pictures by visiting press, are in the frame doing their work. My subjects include construction workers, cooks, drivers and tourism workers. The photos also show people from Barentsburg in Pyramiden on business, as well as tourists, polar bears, reindeer and Arctic foxes," explained the author of the exhibition Stanislav Shubert, who is a director from Novosibirsk.

Shubert said that many of the shots were developed in a darkroom in Pyramiden, which offers the northernmost developing laboratory in the world. The exhibition includes printing equipment: a Soviet image enlarger, the Belarus-5, photographic paper, and developing canisters  that were used. The equipment was found in various abandoned buildings in Pyramiden.

"All the photos were taken on film, as I love film and believe that it is the most vivid and colorful way to convey the texture of objects and the atmosphere of a scene. The color photos were taken on wide slide film, and the black and white images were taken on ordinary black and white film and then hand-printed on an enlarger in the traditional way, in a dark room under a red light, like in Soviet times," Shubert said.

He added that this is his first personal photo exhibition. About 15 people gathered at the cultural and sports complex for the opening – almost half the current population of the village. The next day, residents of the neighboring Norwegian town of Longyearbyen and tourists from the small passenger boat Polargirl came to see the exhibition.

The exhibition will run through the end of October, i.e., until the navigation season is closed. After this, only a small wintering staff remains in Pyramiden as it’s only possible to access the village by helicopter.

"Next month I plan to move the show to Barentsburg and open it at the local community center. In the future, the photo exhibition will travel around various Russian cities. I hope it will be possible to do this with support from the Russian Geographical Society," said the author of the exhibition.