The shining land - PHmuseum

The shining land

Carlos Folgoso

2017 - 2020

Mirny, Sakha, Russia; Russia

In the Russian far east, there is an entire area of newly founded towns that owes its existence to the discovery of diamonds deposits and which future depends critically on the decisions of one of the world's biggest enterprises in the diamond trade.

The Republic of Sakha, in Siberia, has an area five times the size of France but with a population less than one million produces around 28 percent of all world's rough diamonds.

In the second half of the last century, when these diamonds deposits were discovered people started to live in this area founding new towns, which got code names due diamonds was a strategic sector during the Cold War. This area is above permafrost (permanently frozen ground under the soil), and, with long periods of winter, temperatures can reach around to -50°c.

The towns of Mirnyj, Aykhal or Udachny are an example of what Russians call “Monogorods” (cities dominated by a single company), more than 50% population works directly or indirectly for Alrosa company, which also have an airline, hotels, real estate company, sports centers, theaters or culture palaces.

The unpredictable future of this area (Alrosa has diamonds reserves for around 25 more years), the extreme cold, the loneliness and isolation are the main traces in which inhabitants of this area build their lives.

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