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.
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.
Mikhail Lebedev is a documentary photographer and photojournalist from St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2019 he graduated from School of Modern Photography Docdocdoc.