Shadow Of White by Nicola Ducati

A photographic project to discover the deep north and the people who have inhabited these hostile territories for millennia, once uncontaminated and which today face new challenges.

A photographic project to discover the deep north and the people who have inhabited these hostile territories for millennia, once uncontaminated and which today face new challenges.

The thousand shades of white told through the inspiration generated by a trip to Yamal, the icy Siberian peninsula in the far north of the Russian Federation. This land is inhabited by the Nenets people, nomadic herders who, guided by the seasonal cycles and the needs of their herds, migrate incessantly in an infinite circle of movements between ice, frozen rivers and perpetual winds, in search of new pastures in the most remote tundra. The hostile environment did not stop their innate adaptability and gave them prosperity for millennia.

As guests of some Nenets families, we spent ten days with them discovering their way of life. Not without some initial diffidence they then welcomed us and made us participate in a small slice of their life and their millenary traditions. Traditions sometimes untold but only ‘intuited’.

The Nenets are an ethnic group that is particularly interdependent on the environment, a condition that has favored the development of animism as a cult of the spirituality inherent in the natural elements and the practice of shamanism.

Its symbols are represented by small objects, amulets, tiny idols made of carved wood and bone. Precious objects preserved in the bizarre altars present in every Nenet’s home.

The shaman is the intermediary who connects the community to the mysterious forces of nature, interprets their signs and channels their energies with enigmatic practices that for us ‘strangers’ represent a incredible experience.

The nenets are therefore an animist population that inhabits the Siberian tundra. Their language is of Samoyedic origin, incomprehensible, primordial and fascinating. It is difficult to imagine how they express their thoughts, the existence they have is linked to nature, the Arctic land, seasonal cycles and their wealth represented by the flocks. The language they use is therefore very essential but also extraordinarily refined. They speak very little but use dozens of different words to describe the white color and the many shades that their eyes can grasp in the blanket of ice and snow that envelops their existence.
They also have another great secret, each Nenet has a second name that no one should know and that cannot be revealed. The name is used by the shaman only in case of extreme danger and to cure diseases, knowing their real name is a mystery, you cannot ask for it and you cannot pronounce it.

The main occupation of the Nenets is herding and when their reindeer decide to move to find other pastures, the family must follow them, the chum (the typical Arctic tents) must be dismantled and loaded onto the sleds. The path to follow has been the same for hundreds of years, every family knows when and how to move across the boundless polar tundra. Migration day is ideal for spending time and watching how laboriously they tidy up their things. It is interesting to study their movements made repeatedly at each change of outpost, they are figures wrapped up to withstand extreme temperatures, their cheeks are red like ripe apples, their movements made clumsy by the thick layer of fur. It is incredible to observe and share this day with them as the thermometer marks impossible temperatures.

Over the millennia, the Nenets have selected a special breed of dogs, robust, suitable for pulling sleds, distinctly predisposed to the cold, excellent as an animal shepherd and which we know today as the Samoyedo breed.

Samoyedos are protective dogs but also very tame with strangers. Each family has at least four or five, they sleep outdoors guarding the sleds and food. They are very precious animals but also very loved, when the night temperatures are particularly rigid, the dogs that are considered an integral part of the family, are sheltered inside the tent where in a polite and sometimes funny way they lean on humans to warm themselves or more you can often see them happily gnawing on some fish bones in a warm corner of the Chum.

The use of clothing created with animal skins is typical of Arctic populations. Here everything that nature offers is not wasted in any way. The furs are dried in the wind for days and skillfully sewn by women during the long cold season. It takes many layers to cover yourself adequately, in winter it can easily reach minus fifty degrees and when the wind is very strong, the three layers of reindeer fur that cover the small Nenets tents, are barely enough to make it through the night.

Men and boys wear a wide, completely closed hood that slips from the head. It is called Malitsa or Parka, it is made of at least a double layer of fur, incorporates hood and mittens and reaches just above the ankles. It is from this very crude word that our winter coat takes its name. The woman instead uses a more elaborate and long fur, open on the front, whose name has a strong sound like the skins she is made of: it is the Yagushka. It is resistant and very practical, often decorated with colorful motifs or with bells and small metal plates. Ropes and rattles that help not to get lost in the storm. If necessary, it also becomes a large blanket.

The Yamal, although not crossed by the legendary Trans-Siberian railway, is the area where an equally fascinating train is the only way to overcome the ice and reach, not without difficulty, the northernmost lands in the world. Slow and silent it appears. It disturbs the perfect line of the horizon, first as a ripple in the air, then it reaches us with all its noisy majesty. Indispensable means for supplies and relief, it is welcomed by the Nenets as a carrier of goods and provisions to be exchanged. Like the train, the Nenets never lose their way, they move on imaginary tracks that only they recognize. They disappear by walking towards an indefinite point and then re-emerge elsewhere. In silence, orienting oneself with instinct, recognizing invisible traces. At sunset I watch them return from an unexpected direction, followed by a trail not of smoke but of steam of breathlessness. Their soft fur shoes leave no footprints, only an imperceptible shadow on the snow.

I met Rodion one of the many guys who represents the new Nenets generations. Linked to family and traditions, he is one of the lucky ones who have had the opportunity to study and start university. As a member of a minority, his transfer to the city was certainly not easy, the ability to include some environments is a very complex matter. Unlike many young people who return permanently to traditional life in the tundra after school, or those who never set foot in the tundra, he continues his more advanced studies and maintains a strong bond with his family and with his roots. A couple of times a year he spends a few weeks here in the ice at home, following and helping his parents in Arctic migrations. He is part of that small ‘minority of a minority’ who may be able to change the future of his people for the better who today, thanks to the race for energy hoarding, climate change and the out-of-control exploitation of the subsoil, are threatened in a way tragic especially here in the Yamal peninsula, a veritable energy treasure chest of the Arctic.

Among the new, more educated Siberian generations, non-violent environmental and cultural activism is growing, which is linked to the long wave of protests that continue to involve young people from all over the world.

Guys like Rodion who embody tradition and modern awareness, can make a difference and increase the chances that the Nenets, like many other peoples threatened by an unsustainable economic system, will be able to channel their efforts to influence public opinion.

Living here for millennia has certainly not been a game, despite all the man’s ability to adapt has prevailed over the hostile environment. Living with them for a few days was a great privilege, being able to tell through pictures was a great emotion. Being able to observe how the territory and their lifestyle is changing, seeing strength but also resignation in their eyes, makes it clear that the greatest challenge for the Nenets people is happening right now. A storm that is shaking their tents much more violently than any Siberian storm encountered so far.

About Nicola Ducati

Nicola is an Italian photographer, he lives in the mountains of northern Italy and he landed in the world of photography like many other enthusiasts by chance. As a child he used to play with an old camera found who knows where, the object fascinated him and from that moment photography has never abandoned he. He has experimented with various photographic approaches and he has chosen to dedicate himself to travel photography.

Many photographers have inspired him and encouraged him to seek a personal way of ‘seeing’ things. Famous photographers capable of unattainable suggestions together with less known but talented photographers with a unique and poetic style. With some of them he traveled, studied, learned and established a relationship of friendship and respect. The photographic language evolves with experience and “contamination” becomes essential for growth.

His work is inspired by the passage of time and the desire to preserve the memories of those places and those peoples and traditions that will soon give way to modernity. With his work he would like to tell stories of unknown people, physically remote but humanly close, creating empathy between the viewer and the subject, enhancing their elegance and authenticity. Today he especially likes photography that tells but also lets us imagine, that excites and suggests reflections.

A narrative photography.

The most recurring theme in his photographic style is ‘Conservation of Memory’ , he uses photography as a tool to preserve unique and unrepeatable moments of time. Not intended in the classic sense, he does not seek the exotic memento or the memory of a face marked by the difficulties of life, he seeks a way to give continuity to the emotion that that elusive moment or that person has conveyed. With great generosity unknown men and women allowed themselves to be photographed, he believes it is a gift and a privilege that must be honored and shared.

That particular reflection in the eyes, that inquiring and spontaneous gaze, that dim light, that deep wrinkle, those hands ruined by work, the intimacy of a smoky house, are all fragments of poetry to be treated as richness and uniqueness. With his work he seeks the beauty of the world through the diversity of peoples, his style is characterized by a storytelling in harmony with the picture that increases its aesthetic and artistic significance. [Official Website]

More Stories

Conceptual photography; Dissection by Kaushik Dolui

Conceptual photography; Dissection by Kaushik Dolui

The physical presence of blood and flesh is felt in nature as well as material substances also. If the skin cover is eliminated from all living beings, what we see? Blood and flesh is visible in the innermost part of every living body.
The specter of life by Marcin Mirosławski

The specter of life by Marcin Mirosławski

It is a metaphorical and allegorical journey through my self, but at the same time it is a universal story through metaphors and symbols, everyone can try to find themselves in these photos.
Polaroid; Crisis of Experience by J. K. Lavin

Polaroid; Crisis of Experience by J. K. Lavin

This body of work originates from a series of Polaroid SX70 self-portraits made during a daily practice from 1979 to late 1987. Crisis of Experience is the result of an eight-year project exploring themes of self-reflection and female identity using the mechanics of seriality.

Call For Entries

We are looking for 6 fantastic photographers
who want to give an incredible impulse to their career.

We are going to put your photographs in front of the eyes of the directors
of the best galleries, festivals and agencies around the world.
Are you coming with us?

DEADLINE | TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2022

PHOTO BY © JULIA FULLERTON-BATTEN
Interview with Riccardo Magherini; published in our print edition #19

Interview with Riccardo Magherini; published in our print edition #19

Riccardo Magherini is a photographer and visual artist. By approaching his medium in innovative ways, Riccardo often challenges human perception, condition and context. 
From three to twelve by Tatiana Kireicheva

From three to twelve by Tatiana Kireicheva

This story is dedicated to my father: for 40 years he lived in two houses - in Russia and the USA. He migrated when he was very young, received US citizenship and was practically unable to return to Russia (due to legal, political and other circumstances).
November Light by Kip Harris

November Light by Kip Harris

The light in November is very different in Milan and Florence than it is in Rome. The warm amber glow of the eternal city does not penetrate that far north.

Featured Stories

The Mara by Anup Shah

The Mara by Anup Shah

I live in the wild for long stretches of time. Inevitably, I fall under the spell of wild animals. It dawns on me that these are intelligent, emotional, social and personable beings. I connect with their sentience.
The last tide by Marco Campi

The last tide by Marco Campi

Last November Venice experienced the second highest tide in recorded history. Looking at the top 10 tides, we see that five have occurred in the past 20 years and the frequency of exceptional tidal flooding above 110 cm have ramped up dramatically through the years.
Ramnami Community by Sanghamitra Sarkar

Ramnami Community by Sanghamitra Sarkar

Low-caste Hindus in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh first began tattooing their bodies and faces more than 100 years ago as an act of devotion and defiance after being denied entry to temples and forced to use separate wells.
Ethnic diversity in the Horn of Africa by Trevor Cole

Ethnic diversity in the Horn of Africa by Trevor Cole

These images are taken in the Horn of Africa where the roots of humankind lie, and arguably is a region of the continent with one of the greatest ethnic diversities. The people are often tribal (Animist) in nature or have recently been converted from animism to Christianity or Islam.
Wake Me Up by Suvobroto Ray Chaudhuri

Wake Me Up by Suvobroto Ray Chaudhuri

Some people wake up in the morning full of energy and some find themselves fumbling for the snooze button. How you begin a day goes a long way towards how your day would end. So it is important to find ways to get off to a good start.
Suri Portraits by Piper Mackay

Suri Portraits by Piper Mackay

Inspired by their environment of wild trees, exotic flowers and lush vegetation. The Suri tribe use the clay soil of bright yellows, startling whites and rich earth-reds to paint each other’s bodies and make bold decisions about their outfits.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Mono-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Monochromatic Awards. We are eager to see photograhs with new focus points and innovative approaches

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/banner.jpg

The book where words and images meet to never leave each other, The book contains 20 evocative paintings; each of them is a double page. 56 printed pages | 235x165mm

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/call21.jpg

Call For Entries #21 | After 20 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Midwest Memoir by Michael Knapstein

Midwest Memoir by Michael Knapstein

There is a certain magic to the American Midwest. Honest. Modest. Understated. Sometimes unappreciated. Often overlooked. I created Midwest Memoir as a way to help others see the American Midwest in a whole new light.
180 beats per minute by Ivaylo Yorgov

180 beats per minute by Ivaylo Yorgov

180 beats per minute’ celebrates the determination of the millions of runners around the globe who push through sweat and tears to achieve their goals.
Adorned by Jady Bates

Adorned by Jady Bates

Women no longer feel the need to please the previously-ordained-in-media's "male gaze." Females are finding their voice and their own visions in how to adorn themselves: women according to women.
The state of emotional destruction; Bandage Portrait by Kai Nagayama

The state of emotional destruction; Bandage Portrait by Kai Nagayama

This series I named Bandage Portraits. It is meant to explore the state of emotional destruction and resilience. It is so easy to be ignorant to your own feelings even though you are aware of them.
Mongolia; Kazakh Childhood by France Leclerc

Mongolia; Kazakh Childhood by France Leclerc

Kazakh Childhood; France Leclerc’s project was selected and published in our print edition 16. Though the daily activities may vary quite dramatically from one part of the world to the next, children can thrive if provided with a nurturing caregiver and a safe place to play and explore. 
Street Photography; Man in the city by Edgaras Vaicikevicius

Street Photography; Man in the city by Edgaras Vaicikevicius

Man in the city

,What is a city? The city is a rush, speed, noise. The city is a place where many people live. The city connect these people. But we become individually in the city. 



Monochromatic Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the monochromatic awards. We are looking
for the best monochrome picture for this year, 2022.

The contest is open to any interpretation of monochromatic photography,
black and white, grayscale, sepia or any type of tone.

DEADLINE | THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2022

PHOTO BY © SVETLIN YOSIFOV

Trending Stories

Solaris by Roberto De Mitri

Solaris by Roberto De Mitri

There are places that emerge in front of us as a direct expression of our own mood. Nature becomes a manifestation and pure expression of our own feelings, transcending the materiality of the elements that compose it.
Jeu de chaises by James Kezman


Jeu de chaises by James Kezman


If you have visited any of the public gardens of Paris, you have seen the chairs scattered about the jardins. Green-painted and moveable, some have arms, others recline slightly to better arrange oneself to catch the fleeting rays of the Parisian winter sun.
Life after death by Edgaras Vaicikevicius

Life after death by Edgaras Vaicikevicius

After the death of a person remains only what he created during his lifetime. Trees also are born and die. However, only people can extend the natural life of the tree. When the arm of creator touches the tree, the tree is reviving.
Ancient traditions; S’ardia by Mattia Vacca

Ancient traditions; S’ardia by Mattia Vacca

Barbagia is a large mountainous area in the central-eastern part of Sardinia, the Italian island that has extraordinary nature.
Marcin Chajrewicz; inspirational photography

Marcin Chajrewicz; inspirational photography

My name is Marcin Chajrewicz, though for many I am well known as "Kolgrim". For years I've been living in London, but I am Polish and I was born in Biala Podlaska (east of Poland) where I went to school
Underwater; The photography of Gabriele Viertel

Underwater; The photography of Gabriele Viertel

The german artist based in the Netherlands has been completely devoted to photography only since 2011 as a fulltime artist, followed by a rapid rise as a highly successful photographer
Lucha Libre Extrema by Annick Donkers

Lucha Libre Extrema by Annick Donkers

Annick has been traveling widely in Mexico since 2002, and after many years of living between countries, finally decided to settle permanently in Mexico City.
Erotic photography: Bound to New York by Gary Breckheimer

Erotic photography: Bound to New York by Gary Breckheimer

During a shoot with the beautiful Riley Anne last fall, her close friend Sophie came up in conversation. I expressed how I've wanted to work with her, but she never seems to be around. Riley mentioned she was arriving in New York that night and staying with her.  She made the introduction, and we scheduled a shoot.
Conceptual Photography; Words about soul by Alessio Giansante

Conceptual Photography; Words about soul by Alessio Giansante

One of the questions we often don't have time to stop and think about is what will our soul ever be like? I tried to bring back in my series an ineffable image of the soul through abstract paintings, eyes covered by gestural signs, as we cannot see the soul, we can only feel it.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.