Dikson - the northernmost village of Russia
There is no cinema and mobile Internet, buses and coffee shops, supermarkets and advertising banners. There is not a single person who would not see the polar night and the green overflow of the northern lights, would not know what to do when meeting a polar bear and during the actirovka, would not expect the appearance of polar poppies and a scheduled flight. This is Dikson - the northernmost village in Russia.
There are more than five hundred kilometers of uninhabited tundra to the nearest major cities, Dudinka and Norilsk. You can get to Dikson, a closed village, only by special pass and only on the old AN-26, which flies from the Alykel airport only once a week, and then when there is no snowstorm or fog. For locals, everything that is not Dikson is the mainland. On the mainland - Siberia, remote taiga, roads, the usual change of day and night. At the “end of the world” - houses on stilts, and questions like “have you seen how the arctic fox chased a dog in the yard?”, A wild tundra open to all winds, and endless ice. This is Arctic. The network of polar stations, the geophysical observatory, the port of the Northern Sea Route, the headquarters of maritime operations, the network of coastal airfields, clubs of polar explorers, hunting winters, a fish factory, an art gallery – all these things remains now only in local history books, filings of the ‘Sovetskaya Arktika’ newspaper and the memory of people who came to settle inhospitable Far North. A frontier post, an unheated airport, a hydrometeorological station, a boiler room, a diesel engine, a school, an administration, a library and several shops are all that remain today.
Nevertheless, people live on Dickson. They go to the tundra and fish, teach children how to draw and solve equations, write “Total Dictation” and pass the exam, collect archive photos and bake bread, monitor heating boilers and wind speed, wait for the polar night and enjoy the first sun. Here at Dikson, every abandoned winter house, a closed door, a black gaping window or a luminous window is a story. And the history of the development of the Northern Sea Route, and the history of “conquering the North” in the era of the USSR, but most importantly - the private history of a family or a person.
Text and photo from the project On the edge of the snow by Krasnoyarsk residents Anna Gruzdeva and Anton Petrov.