© Marianna Williams 2013
Sound recordings taken at the site arranged by Dr. Karen Power © 2013
Visit facilitated by The Arctic Circle on 08 October 2013.
I confronted absence in the Arctic. While still around 80o North, I documented the site of Pyramiden, Russia during its initial restoration. Both the world's most northerly Cold War frontier and one of two Russian claims in the Arctic, the small coal mining community supported several thousand people at its height before suffering economic hardship in the 1980s. In the attempt to resettle the community in Russia’s neighboring site of Barentsburg, aircraft carrying women and children from Pyramiden crashed during landing. When the men of Pyramiden heard that none survived they immediately abandoned the site, forsaking artifacts of their lives together. Years passed in the frozen tundra, the elements both preserving and eating away at various sections of the settlement, before Pyramiden received a second glance. My experiences have not only lead to my continued desire to question how we see the world around us, but to also give a voice to those who have none by making personal histories known.