Photojournalism / Editorial Photography | Winner

Alexey Vasilyev

Yakutsk / RU

My Dear Yakutia


Yakutia is the largest region of Russia, but it is almost not explored by man. The number of population is only one million on three million square kilometers. There is no other corner on the Earth where people live in such a severe and contrasting climate. In summer the air warms up to 40 °C and in winter it drops to -60 C°. There is the longest duration of winter, temperatures below zero and snow lies here from October to mid-April. The transport system has made Yakutia one of the most inaccessible areas in the world. There are almost no railways and only a few roads. Some places can be reached by plane or helicopter only. The remoteness from the world and severe climatic conditions lead to a special way of life and culture of local residents.


Alexey Vasilyev was born in 1985 in the coldest region of Russia - Yakutia, where the temperature can reach the grade mark -60 C°.
In 2008 he graduated from the philological faculty of the Yakut state University. From 2010 to 2019 Vasilyev worked in the children's republican newspaper "The Youth of the North". Since 2017 he is a member of the Russian Union of photographers. In 2018 he entered the school of modern photography in St. Petersburg "Dokdokdok".

Features of his work have been published in the The Guardian, National Geographic (Russia), Wired, Calvert Journal, Meduza, It's Nice That, Takie Dela (Russia), (Russia), LensCulture, MoscowTimes, MyModernMet and etc.

In his documentary works he focuses on the daily life research of people in the far North and their national identity in the global world.

Jury Statement

Yakutia is Russia's largest region and is located in the north-east of Asia, which is difficult to reach due to the lack of infrastructure.

In his photographs, Alexey Vasilyev poetically and lovingly documents and narrates the lives of people in the seclusion of Yakutia under the most severe climatic conditions.

His pictures are characterized by a clear and multi-layered composition and choice of motifs. The five photographs from the series ‚My dear Yakutia‘ appear as an allegory of life with hope and dreams, wonder, loneliness and the joy of life itself. They are profound and humorous at the same time and extend far beyond the documentary.