The Arctic Prison

I became aware of that part of the world, through a friend who told me one day about an article he read on The Guardian about refugees from the Middle East who were making their way to Europe through Norway via Russia and the Arctic Circle. The article, without photos, neither too much said about what was happening, was a great hint for me. I saw this as a great opportunity and personal challenge. It also felt really possible . I left direction Russia few weeks later, with no contacts and no place to stay, but a lot of energy, enthusiasm and foolishness. That story was published all over the world on title such as New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde and many others.

That first story led me back many times in the Arctic, I had the fortune to meet many amazing people who shared with me their remarkable stories and allowed me to document them. I spent time with refugees in a remote village called Neiden, populated by less than one hundred people spread out over miles of thick snow in the middle of Finnmark. I documented their life during many long hours spent inside a hotel, while waiting for some good news about their future prospects and their struggles with boredom, cold and the unknown wilderness outside.

I also documented the Europe’s longest dog sled race. 1200 km of pure adrenaline racing through the wilderness, with mushers and dogs working together as I had never seen before. This was one of the highlights of my experiences up there.

I went back to the Arctic many other times, for small stories like the life of workers in a Salmon farming and the life of a young Sami. I’ve always felt scared of the Arctic, but now it would be the first place I would escape to.

The selection of images below is a mixed portfolio of all the different stories I’ve made up in the Finnmark region in the Arctic Circle.