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'Siberia's navigable rivers are more than long enough to encircle the globe'
W.Bruce Lincoln

Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region

By Valeria Sukhova
04 February 2020

Galina Davydova, 61, first took camera 5 years ago to share moments of life in her native Yakutia.

Washed clothes freeze within minutes of being taken out at -40C. PIcture: Galina Davydova

Living in the Kingdom of Permafrost, as the Republic of Sakha is known, is not for the faint-hearted. 

The climate in Russia’s largest region, only slightly smaller than India, is unkind to humans (and animals) with its long freezing winters and brief but often very hot summers, when the temperatures range between the seasons reaches 108C. 

Snow covers its frozen grounds from October to May, and in winters many remote areas of this vast region are only accessible by driving on hard frozen rivers. 

Yet the biting cold doesn’t tame the spirit of people living in Yakutia.

The hospitable, humorous and warm-hearted locals often take pride at how they weather harsh winter days.

Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region


Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region


Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region


Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region


Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region

Living in the Kingdom of Permafrost. Pictures: Galina Davydova


Check out these pictures of laughing dance studio kids from the village of Tattinnsky ulus as they pose in the snow, or a set with frozen clothes, all taken by photographer Galina Davydova. 

‘The idea with frozen clothes comes from my childhood, because this is how we all dried clothes after washing in winters. I remember the feeling of hands being near frostbitten by the time we finished picking them up. It was just one of the typical scenes of life in Yakutia that I wanted other people to see’, said Galina.

The amateur photographer teaches Yakut language and literature at her village school, and spends her spare time taking pictures. 

Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region


Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region


Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region


Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region

Dancers from a village studio pose in the snow; a washed set of clothes freezes within less than an hour at outdoor -45C, and a picture of an elderly lady. Pictures: Galina Davydova


Among Galina’s favourite models are Yakut horses, a small and sturdy local breed that lives unsheltered even when air temperature drops below minus 60C. 

They normally spend days outdoor, digging for forage from under the snow, but when it gets too cold people offer extra meals of grain and hay.

One of Galina’s pictures shows the moment  two stallions fight for food. 

Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region


Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region


Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region


Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region
Among Galina’s favourite models are Yakut horses, a small and sturdy local breed that lives unsheltered even when air temperature drops below minus 60C. Pictures: Galina Davydova


‘Five years ago I told myself that a good teacher should be able to do anything, and I took online photography courses via WhatsApp’, Galina explains. 

‘I am using a basic photo editing tool to crop and lighten the images, and am yet to study programmes like Photoshop which seems to be too complicated’. 

Galina has been teaching children for 40 years in the village school of her native Tattinsky ulus.

‘I love teaching children, and travelling about Yakutia to take pictures. 

‘It’s great to get feedback from people who see my works on Instagram, even if it is critical - but it would be fair to say that whatever people say I would still continue taking pictures to share the beauty of my land, its people and animals.’ 

Pictured below: Galina Davydova and her pictures of living in Russia's coldest region

Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region


Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region


Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region


Schoolteacher captivates the world with stunning pictures from the heart of Russia’s coldest region

Comments (19)

These are beautiful pictures. I liked the one of the church with the cross on top. That means there must be Christians in your land. How wonderful that is. May God continue to bless you as you take pictures of your beautiful land. Judy
Judy, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
11/11/2020 18:26
0
0
I so enjoyed your pictures, they are visually stunning and a treat for the eyes!! Better than a hot fudge sundae!!! If you copyright and sell them you can make good money - many people from many countries, (I see from the other comments) would LOVE to have them framed on their walls! So glad I found this Siberian newspaper site with so much of interest!!
Carol Hurley, Boston Massachusetts USA
12/06/2020 08:25
1
0
Its good to know that you still have time and effort toshow us all these pics inspite of a very freezing n long weather. I appreciate it very much. Please continue, may the good Lord bless you always and your loveones.
Rollie Del Mundo, Mariveles/Philippines
30/05/2020 13:30
2
0
In response to a couple of comments, the amazing photographer is a WOMAN, not a man, did you even read the article? Also for the Anti-Fur be commenter in Brazil, oh the irony, this is one of the coldest places on the planet and your bitching about fur? Not only that but some of the people wearing fur are Natives to that region, who you have just insulted along with the culture there.. 43I dare you to live there without fur, lets see how you survive. Beautiful Photos!
Kasandra Kaczor, Canada
29/05/2020 08:07
3
1
The camera sees what the eye sees in passing and freezes it for all to see that moment. You have captured a place, its people and its life for all of us who will never be able to experience it, now and in the future. You have learned well and I doubt any program can improve on the raw beauty in the harsh land in which you live. I hope to see many more of your pictures of the life, land and people you love and teach.
Bob Boop, Florida, United States
25/05/2020 21:32
3
0
Hotuna masu kyau kwarai da gaske(very beautiful pictures indeed)
Isa Ibrahim, Kaduna Nigeria
10/05/2020 23:50
3
0
Great work. Congratulations!
Göran Svedberg, Malmö Sweden
14/04/2020 14:52
4
0
The lady reading by candlelight....fine art...great depth of expression. All are very good but that one steals my heart.
Psylgar, Hallsville, USA
08/04/2020 12:22
5
0
Miten kauniita kuvia! Как красивые картинки! Привет в Сибирь сюда из Финляндии.
Kalervo, Finland
29/02/2020 13:31
4
0
Awesome pictures!!
Marie, Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada
27/02/2020 03:06
4
0
Beautiful beautiful photos!
Terry, U.S.
20/02/2020 06:59
5
0
Thank you for a great treat of photographic real life ingeniosity...

Please keep up your amazing educational and photographic art for the generations to come.
Anonymous, Switzerland
19/02/2020 19:17
11
1
Wear your own skin. Hi-tech fabrics now easily surpass the warmth of fur.
Judith Shipstad, Los Gatos, California
14/02/2020 08:19
0
22
SUPER foto's !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jittabruta, nederland
11/02/2020 16:11
9
0
This teacher has captured images of real life. This is a document for the future. But he also included in this his ability to convey emotion, which values his work even more.
Constantino Cunha, Brasil
09/02/2020 17:45
10
1
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