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

Terra Mater – Ode to My Family  by Marco Castelli

Terra Mater – Ode to My Family by Marco Castelli

Words are not inherently suitable to embrace any even blurred concept of time, and beside all speech being made nowadays around the sense of family, its true nature belongs to the undetectable trace we leave through centuries, and to our relationship with time itself.
The magical hidden world by Georgi Georgiev

The magical hidden world by Georgi Georgiev

The magical hidden world project was selected and published in our print edition 23. These photos are one of my personal best from the past few years. Most of them are from one place where I spend every spare moment to take photos.
Sleepless by Rebecca Sexton Larson

Sleepless by Rebecca Sexton Larson

Growing up I always had an affinity with the night. It was when I did my most productive work, alone in my bedroom free from noise and distractions. I would find comfort in the subdued light and quiet stillness, losing a sense of time and being absorbed in the moment of creating art.

Portrait Photography Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the Portrait Photography Awards. We are looking
for the best portrait for this year, 2023.

Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of portrait photography.

DEADLINE | FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2023

PHOTO BY © JOSE GIRL
Pride and prejudice by Renata Dutrée

Pride and prejudice by Renata Dutrée

Pride and prejudice project was selected and published in our print edition 23. This ongoing series of studio portraits of young men is intended to challenge the viewer with social constructs that are centered around masculinity and femininity. Gender bias, gender roles and stereotypes can affect everyone negatively.
Gender identity; Lexi by Timothi Jane Graham

Gender identity; Lexi by Timothi Jane Graham

I first met Lexi at the beginning of her medical gender affirmation journey in December 2020. At 58 years old, she had identified and lived as a woman for decades behind closed doors. She was born and raised in Ecuador where the LGBTQ community faces intense discrimination which often ends in violence.
Metaversic world by Byoung Ho Rhee

Metaversic world by Byoung Ho Rhee

With the innovation of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence in the 21st century, the world of metaverse is being witnessed around our lives such as games and movies. The age of mixing virtual with reality. In the metaverse world, the cyberspace where virtual and reality are harmonized is called mixed reality MR.

Featured Stories

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.
Tokyo by Manol Valtchanov

Tokyo by Manol Valtchanov

Tokyo had always been a special place to me from my first visit. Since then, each of my travels there has meant a sort of break dedicated to an emotional research and sometimes even more to an inspirational flat-out.
Looking Out from Within by Julia Fullerton-Batten

Looking Out from Within by Julia Fullerton-Batten

During the days prior to the pandemic I was ultra-busy planning a photographic shoot with a large team of people, assistants, stylists, hair and make-up team, prop stylists, set designers etc.
Grey Matter(s) by Tom Jacobi

Grey Matter(s) by Tom Jacobi

For two years Tom Jacobi travelled to six continents, searching for archaic landscapes - mystical places that had been shaped over thousands of years by nature, yet they seem timeless, even modern.
Pets photography; Wet Dog by Sophie Gamand

Pets photography; Wet Dog by Sophie Gamand

Sophie Gamand is a French photographer living and working in New York. Since 2011, with both a documentary and artistic approaches,
Hyung S. Kim – Haenyeo: Women of the Sea

Hyung S. Kim – Haenyeo: Women of the Sea

The photographer, Hyung S. Kim who was inspired by the historical and geographical uniqueness of “Haenyeo” known as a female diver for living
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/bannerpr.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Portrait Photography Awards. Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of portrait photography.

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/2022/09/mono2022.jpg

The best 100 images along with the winning images published in the yearly book “Monochromatic – Best Photographers of 2022”

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/banner24.jpg

Call For Entries #24 | After 23 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Infrared Silence Series by Nathan Wirth

Infrared Silence Series by Nathan Wirth

Within the folds of any subject, an imperceptible silence resides, even resonates -a silence unheard within the nooks and crannies of the ruffles of noise that blanket the world we all live in- such matters hinting that, camera in hand
The scars of war; Friendship Village by Kip Harris

The scars of war; Friendship Village by Kip Harris

The scars of war are deep and long lasting. That is particularly true of the Vietnam War. An entire generation along with their families, children, friends, and society
The Wat Phra Kaew’s Guide Book by Artyt

The Wat Phra Kaew’s Guide Book by Artyt

This Project is about “Wat Phra Kaew”. Wat Phra Kaew is regarded as the most sacred buddhist temple in Thailand. Everyday, Wat Phra Kaew is full of tourists from around the world.
The Land Where the Roots Grow Deep by Rebecca Moseman

The Land Where the Roots Grow Deep by Rebecca Moseman

This series of photographs is part of an ongoing project about the African American people living in the deep south.
My mum by Viet Van Tran

My mum by Viet Van Tran

I started photographing my mother at the time she became seriously ill, (ten month ago) and continued shooting until my mother will get better, until now. I want to fix some moments forever, not only in my mind and heart, but alsoin a concrete and tangible shape.
Collection of portraits; Created Equal by Mark Laita

Collection of portraits; Created Equal by Mark Laita

In America, the chasm between rich and poor is growing, the clash between conservatives and liberals is strengthening, and even good and evil seem more polarized than ever before.

Trending Stories

Matriarchs-Framed by Windows and Doors by David Shedlarz

Matriarchs-Framed by Windows and Doors by David Shedlarz

It seems that the world is evolving at warp speeds.  Capturing this moment preserves our history through its people.  Photography is a powerful tool in the preservation of our cultural heritage. 
Up there in the sky by Éric Bourret

Up there in the sky by Éric Bourret

If you want to discuss the atmospheric void above the Earth, you don't have a great deal of choice. A short, unprepossessing word stands out: sky.
Photo Shoot; Glamour by Fabrizio Romagnoli

Photo Shoot; Glamour by Fabrizio Romagnoli

Fabrizio Romagnoli - My passion for photography began over thirty years ago, I have studied the technical and photographic composition, through film time learning the techniques of developing and printing, up to lead the digital and the photo-editing.
Taiwanese aborigines by Hsuan Chung

Taiwanese aborigines by Hsuan Chung

Taiwanese aborigines are optimistic. They accept life as it is, and live in harmony with nature. Their languages are also the very origins of Austronesian languages.
No place for a man by Mitja Kobal

No place for a man by Mitja Kobal

The objective of our tour on Greenpeace's ice breaker 'Arctic Sunrise' to the Barents sea was to make noise by protesting and spreading awareness that Norway is expanding it's drilling exercises far north into the pristine Arctic.
Mod UK by Owen Harvey

Mod UK by Owen Harvey

This photographic project is a celebration of the current UK Mod scene. Mod is a subculture that began in the late 50’s and through the years, it has seen many variations to its original style.
Anatomy of a Photograph by Gianluca Micheletti

Anatomy of a Photograph by Gianluca Micheletti

The image consists of two photos mounted in post-production. I used a Sony A7 camera for both, with a Nikon 70-300mm lens for monkey photography and a Tamron 90mm Macro for the capsule photo.
On the streets of solitude by Michael Nguyen

On the streets of solitude by Michael Nguyen

Who says, streets are our most social lively spaces? Maybe. But they are also places of broken dreams, of empty selves, of collective solitude.
Peter Gordon – Life & Death:The temple

Peter Gordon – Life & Death:The temple

Located in the starkly beautiful setting of the Black Rock Desert, the Burning Man festival attracts some of the most interesting and extraordinary people, art and activities you are ever likely to find in one place.

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 contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.