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Photo Exhibition on Northern Indigenous Peoples Opens at SPIEF

16 June 2022
В рамках ПМЭФ открылась выставка фотографий о жизни коренных народов Севера

An exhibition of photographic works on the history, culture, and contemporary face of the indigenous peoples of the North opened at the Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg on 15 June as part of the cultural programme of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The Heart of Yugra exhibition is being presented as part of the plan of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 20212023 and was initiated by the Roscongress Foundation.

 “Today, we are bringing one of Russia’s most beautiful regions to those living in and visiting St. Petersburg. As for what the future may hold, it would be no less interesting if this exhibition were to be followed by photo exhibitions of other regions of the North. It is my hope that this project is followed by more of the same kind. We have to look at ourselves, our roots, our historical lands, and all the beauty of Russia and see how the flow of tourists in the country has been transformed. I think that this exhibition will inspire many people to visit the region themselves,” Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Roscongress Foundation Alexander Stuglev said.

40 exhibits will be only display at the exhibition including portraits, sketches of everyday life and landscapes, visually interpretations, and symbols of the Khanty and Mansi peoples. The Heart of Yugra presents a unique view of the northern territories in a new way and introduces the history and culture of the peoples inhabiting the regions. Photographer Oleg Zotov's exhibition will be on display in the Arctic Hall of the Russian Museum of Ethnography until 15 August 2022.

“The photographs show us how modern history and the economy can co-exist with the traditional ways of life of the indigenous peoples. The exhibition seeks to introduce the inhabitants of the region to us: people occupy a central role. All this contributes to shaping the Arctic region as a humanitarian space,” Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Arctic Senior Officials Nikolay Korchunov said.

“Our Artistic Discovery of the Peoples of the North cultural project tells the genetic story of the northern peoples through the creative industries and ensures sustainability of development. It is important for us to share these centuries-old recipes with everyone. We are not afraid to experiment, to apply an interdisciplinary approach, to collaborate and discover something new as we try to figure out how to preserve and popularize the cultural and historical heritage of Yugra,” Regional Head Natalia Komarova said.

“This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to witness the diversity of the historical, cultural, and social characteristics of the indigenous peoples of the Russian North and to be reminded that they are the guardians of a unique relationship with nature,” Deputy CEO of the Roscongress Foundation Elena Marinina said.

The exhibition opening was also attended by Natalia Komarova, Governor of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug Yugra, exhibition photographer Oleg Zotov, Triumph Gallery keeper and co-owner Dmitry Khankin, and Yuri Kiselev, board member of the Russian Media Group CJSC.

One of the main priorities of the Russian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 20212023 is the development of human capital in the region, and this includes the indigenous peoples of the North. The Russian side pays particular attention to maintaining the sustainability and resiliency of the peoples of the North, promoting measures for their adaptation to climate change, improving welfare, health, education, and quality of life, and ensuring progressive socio-economic development across the region. The Russian side has initiated projects on the digitalization of the cultural and linguistic heritage of the indigenous peoples of the North, the development of renewable energy sources, the establishment of an international carbon-free energy Arctic research station, and Arctic biosafety. In addition, Russia is preparing project proposals focussing on the traditional medicine of indigenous peoples, the development of the creative industries in the Arctic, and is working on the Digital Arctic Museums initiative.





Reference information:

Official social media accounts of Russia’s chairmanship in the Arctic Council:





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