Title: GOLDEN ALDAN
Two Channel Video Installation (synchronized)
by Ștefan Rusu
Year of Production: 2010
Image editor: Denis Bartenev
Cameraman: Ștefan Rusu
The subject of video installation resulted after a workshop(2009) and exploratory trip to one of the most remote regions of Russian Federation - Republic of SAKHA (Yakutia).
The installation is focused on undergoing research related to the massive and unprecedented mine exploration by private companies of the land populated by the natives - Evenki and Yakuty. The local and federal authorities aloud private companies and granted them unlimited access to explore the resources (mostly gold and diamonds) in the areas where the native population is settled since centuries and where they are practicing hunting and reindeer cultivation.
Before the year 90 the cultivation and the possession of the reindeer’s for private needs by native tribes was prohibited by the soviet regime, the same regime that was advocating the common (own by the state) property and forced the natives to keep reindeer’s only in the frame of state own “kolkhozy” located in limited areas (reservation). With the new realities after the dissolution of Soviet Union the Sakha received an independent status with some control from the federal authorities (governor of the Republic is appointed by President of Russia directly) and the natives could keep open farms in extended areas without borders. The gold mining affects wide areas of land including the natural paths of the reindeer and is estimated as a significant ecologic treat.
- Left Channel presents gold mining and its new technology of open extraction adopted recently by the private sector that explore the important areas in the Central and Southern parts of the country (Aldan district). The night shots are interfered with inserts from archival material originated from the resources of Ethnography Museum located in Aldan.
- Right Channel presents the interviews with the Evenki tribes representatives and in particular features the chiefs of local tribes that speaks about the current problem of the natives in their struggle with the grooving invasion of the new technology (gold exploration with the chemical methodology that uses extensively the cyanide). The Evenki rises the question of over extensive mine exploration of natural areas of the Republic of Sakha that is a significant ecological trait to the life and culture of Eastern Siberia.
The interviews are interfered with the images of local village and shaman’s party organized once per year by the group of Evenki and Yakuty women (keepers of fire) in an effort to ask protection for their land and people.