NATALYA SAPRUNOVA, RUSSIA/FRANCE

RUSSIA: ULIANA, WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD

Uliana is eleven years old. She loves being outdoors, going fishing, eating reindeer meat without a knife and fork, doing handicrafts and embroidery. She flies in a helicopter and dyes her hair. She has both a dog and a laptop. She travels on rivers and in the woods. Uliana belongs to one of the many ethnic minorities in the extreme north region of Russia, the Sámi people. Her ancestors still lived as nomads.

Uliana lives in a settlement called Lovozero on the Kola Peninsula, where wooden huts stand next to prefabricated concrete buildings. And sometimes she takes a vacation at her grandmother’s in a tiny village with just 400 inhabitants. Or she visits an old woman who is the only one still living in a hamlet with four houses.

Photographer Natalya Saprunova has portrayed a childhood, the kind of which probably doesn’t exist too often anymore. Still a little of the old world, though also a little of the new one too. And in it, a strong, hands-on, cheerful girl who can withstand freezing cold as well as swarms of mosquitoes. Who also lends a helping hand when needed. And is playful as only a child can be.

Photographer: Natalya Saprunova, Russia/France

Portrait: Natalya Saprunova

© Natalya Saprunova

Natalya Saprunova, born in Russia in 1986, first worked as a French teacher, then studied at the Ecole des Métiers de l’Information in Paris and became a French citizen. While still in Russia, she worked as a photographer for a daily newspaper in Murmansk. She now teaches photography in Paris. In France she was a finalist or prize-winner in various competitions. Her topics as a photographer are the transformation of societies, identity, youth and femininity.

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