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Bronze 2022 People / Culture

Saamis, We Used to Live In The Tundra

  • Photographer
    Natalya Saprunova
  • Agency / Studio
    Zeppelin Agency
  • Prize
    Bronze in People / Culture

Settled on the Kola Peninsula, Saamis of Russia lost their nomadic autonomy with the arrival of the Soviet power in the 1920s. This people who lived mainly from reindeer herding and fishing in the tundra, was forced to live in apartment buildings. Children of nature, Saamis were depressed about losing their natural rhythms and being locked in "cages". Gathered in a main Saami village - Lovozero, located in the hinterland of the city of Murmansk, this place was considered as a reserve. Settled to work in kolkhozes, they no longer had the right to be Saami.

Natalya Saprunova, born in the arctic region of Russia in Murmansk, she is a freelance documentary photographer. Natalya is a member of the french photo agency - Zeppelin. First worked as a French teacher, then studied at the Ecole des Métiers de l’Information in Paris and became a French citizen. In Russia, she worked as a photographer for a daily newspaper in Murmansk. Natalya now teaches photography at Graine de Photographe school in Paris and does documentary reportages. Her topics are the transformation of societies, identity, youth, spirituality and femininity.