The project called “Lost Chukotka” is an attempt to preserve the history of Chukotka of the twentieth century. This land used to have its settlements, its own culture, industry, military power, it was the place where many people tried to survive. Today these places are history. Besides there are no many people left who can tell about this land, the land which is grown with tundra today.
One photographer, who lives in Anadyr, Chukotka, has presented some photos of the land and called the project “Lost Chukotka”. He was striving to visit as many Chukotian places as possible and show them to the world.
Once in July 2012, he started his trip from the river Amguemy.
He was fishing from the boat, wrapped the fish with salt in paper for three hours and ate it. What restaurant can offer you such food?
In three days he reached the place with a complicated name – Egvekinot-Iultin. The prospering place was severely flooded in 1995 and left by people.
The photographer had minumum of clothes, some food and a bicycle. The boat was left on the bank near some abandoned house.
Here’s how the place looks like in July!
Soon he found the settlement where in the 1930s people had found huge deposits of tungsten and tin. At the cost of thousands of lives, GULAG prisoners, there was built Egvekinot port and a 200 kilometers road to the deposit here. All the psocess took seven years. 1953 was considered to be the year when the village was born.
Three years later the local factory manufactured the first tin and tungsten ore concentrate.
Refuse heap next to the factory.
Here is the view of the village from the refuse heap. To the right is a high destroyed building of the iron and concrete profucts plant.
In front and to the left is a boiler house. It used to provide heating to the village.
They planned to make the village bigger by building five-storey houses for some kilometers deep into the valley.
According to the Chukchi standards the village was huge. Almost seven thousand people lived here. Besides, this place was the most comfortable for living in Chukotka. They had two kindergartens, a school (and the second school was being built), a food factory, a cultural center, a sports complex. All the houses were not lower than two storeys.
But the main structure was the ore mining and processing complex. It was towering over the village being very huge.
This is the complex itself and the mountain where they worked.
Cassiterite and wolframite were extracted and separated from the gangue by a gravity method.
The ready concentrate was packed into huge metal drums and taken to the port.
More ore was also delivered from another settlement which was located twenty kilometres away.
The abandoned equipment was taken away by numerous marketing cooperatives and citizens of Chukotka for their needs. For example, one mine is said to be fully built from the materials brought from Iultin.
The flats are almost empty. All the things were taken away during the first years after the flood.
Window openings were torn off, floorings and roofs of many houses were disassembled.
The local kindergarten even had a swimming pool!
“I am in the tunnel”.
It’s the former cultural house.
The list of dwellers.
These barracks were built by prisoners.
Nature is still suffering from the actions of humans.
The dumps of the ore mining and processing plant still have an unpleasant chemical smell and pollute the Iultinka river.
On the photo above are footprints of the only owner of this land today.
They didn’t become rich…
“Iultin” is translated as an “icicle”, however when former villagers of this place remember this northern land their feelings are always warm.