Resource Depletion & Depopulation | Life In The Kola Peninsula

The territory of the aluminum plant. Apatity.

 

Photojournalist and Documentary Photographer  Mikhail Lebedev is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  From the project ‘ Snow Desert’To see  Mikhail’s body of work, click on any image.

 

Antonina is the driver of an 120-ton truck at the Kovdorsky iron ore mine.

 

Gas station in the city of Apatity.

 

View of the Orthodox Church and the Nickel ore processing plant. Nickel

 

Kola Peninsula is the most densely populated region in the world outside of the polar circle. At the start of the previous century, 25,000 people were living on this territory; at the time of the dissolution of the USSR, the population amounted to over a million. The largest cities of the region are placed around ports, colossal natural resource fields and factories processing them. While looking for new opportunities, immigrants came here from different regions of the country in order to build roads, cities and factories.

 

This is an unfinished train station in the city of Kirov.

 

A junkyard. Since 1989, the population of the Kola Peninsula has declined by 400,000. Near Kirov.

 

Abandoned houses. A three-room apartment in Nickel now costs $ 2,000.

 

Today the situation is changing. The gradual resource depletion and, as a result, the growing depopulation of the cities form an atmosphere of alienation and neglect. Voiceless meditative landscapes, desolate roads with only few settlements, long winters and polar nights– all these things strengthens these feelings.   Step by step, nature is winning back its space.

 

Vyacheslav worked for more than 40 years at a mining enterprise in Olenegorsk.

 

View of the city of Nickel. In the foreground are dead trees. Sulfur emissions from a nickel processing plant destroy the nature around the city.

 

The main road on the Kola Peninsula consists of long straight sections, as if in a desert. Near Monchegorsk.

 

All images and text ©  Mikhail Lebedev

 

 

See also:

Urban | Streetphoto | People | Daily life

By  Mikhail Lebedev

 

 

 

 

Edge of Humanity Magazine is an independent nondiscriminatory platform that has no religious, political, financial, or social affiliations.

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