• Axelle DE RUSSÉ

The longest night

In the Northern part of the world, just 1,000 kms away from the pole, the small town of Longyearbyen is the most northerly town on the planet.
Populated by adventurers, miners and scientists, it is plunged into complete darkness every year for almost 4 months. This is where human beings live the longest in the dark.

This is also where global warming is the most significant in the world. According to the Norwegian Polar Institute, temperatures in Longyearbyen have been above normal temperatures for 109 consecutive months. (Feb 2019). It’s also warming up 6 times more than anywhere else.

But who these women and men of the extreme are, who have chosen to live in the heart of the longest night, in the heart of the Arctic.
The work presented here is an allegory and the dark images aim at expressing the evanescence of this endangered world.

Using the inverted codes of how images are usually shown in the Arctic ie a white and luminous world, I tried to express a feeling of distress. Beyond the aesthetic approach, what is questioned here, is Man’s ability to adapt to extreme climates, isolation and the predicted environmental disaster.



As a freelance photographer since 2005, she has been working on long term documentary projects.
In 2008, her work "the return of the concubine in China" received the Canon prize of women photojournalist at the festival "Visa pour l’image" in Perpignan.
In 2015, thanks to the CNAP support (National Center of Fine Arts), she followed the daily life of women victims of sexual abuse in the French army.
In 2019 she obtained the "Pierre and Alexandra Boulat" grant for her report on women’s rehabilitation after prison time in France.
Since 2016, she has been leading a project on global warming in the Arctic, thanks to support from SCAM. (draft of a dream).
For Axelle, photography is a commitment, both in its content and dissemination. Her pictures are exhibited in festivals or exhibitions, but also disseminated through educational workshops in schools (Seine Saint-Denis).