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‘FROZEN’ by Sarah Michelle Riisager

Frozen is a visual poem from my travel in Yakutia, which also serves as a survey of this remote place that few of us are familiar with and many have not seen.

Yakutia is a land of contrasts as the weather fluctuated between freezing and minus 60 degrees, the Yakutians I visited in their homes were warm and hospitable – showing me an openness and love I have rarely experienced before. I fell in love with the harsh nature, the cold and frozen landscape, and above all, the people. I was fascinated by the way these young people grow up in villages with only 300 inhabitants and where the winter lasts for 9 months. In these closely-knit communities, people come together as they withdraw from the outside world en masse and form a unique communal bond, at the core of intimacy.

My photography has always been both curious and sensitive. This curiosity is something I have chosen to explore, interpret, and share with the viewer.

I want to be intimate with the people I meet, to really feel and discover them. I want to fall in love standing right on the edge, embracing the uncertain. In my work I have always focused on being personal, intuitive, and humble. I focus on the relationship between people and being present – present in a world I find difficult to understand but also a world I want to understand.

Frozen is an insight into my universe, a universe built on wonder, loneliness, love, and fascination. With this project I want to openly invite the viewer to partake in this journey and to share my universe so that they can create their own story within mine.

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