A graduate of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie of Arles, Clanet has been photographing the land and peoples of Lapland since 2005. The award-winning photographer released ‘Maze’, a photographic series looking at the relationship between territory and identity in the Norwegian part of Lapland in 2010. Her latest project ‘Kola’ took her to the Kola Peninsula, also known as Russian Lapland or ‘Murmansk oblast’. Located in the northwest of Russia, this pocket of the globe has a harsh and unstable climate, making it an unlikely location for visitors.
The nomadic inhabitants of Lapland are used to two-month dark winters and polarizing weather conditions. Clanet spent five years in Lapland, photographing the indigenous Sami people who settled here thousands of years ago. By her own definition, she “sank into the landscapes of this mysterious land, like a foot into a snow whose depth would not be known.” Her photos reveal a land that is far removed from civilization as we know it. Images of crumbling infrastructure, abandoned buildings and unused machinery contrast with the natural elements such as snow filled roads and reindeer. During Soviet times, Kola was a secret land that hosted many military installations — the ramifications of this can be felt in Clanet’s images where men in military uniform look forlornly into the camera.
Her photos reveal a land that is far removed from civilization as we know it.