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Nevermind in Vorkuta, The Soviet Gulag Camp Turned City – By Photographer Tomeu Coll

Photo: Tomeu Coll / Instagram

Vorkuta, Russia, 2009 – Once upon a time, long ago this was a thriving coal mining city, but also notorious outpost for many gulag prisoners. Today however it is full of abandoned buildings that lost their purpose ever since many industry technologies have changed, but also because of the the collapse of Soviet Union.

The extremes in temperature (in winter it can get as cold as -40C) make the buildings unstable and liable to collapse. Up above the Arctic Circle, 40 hours by train from Moscow, sits the Russian city of Vorkuta.

It was built by gulag inmates but was given purpose by the coal industry that used to be the region’s lifeblood.

Ever since mining has disappeared it left many of the industrial outposts abandoned. Tomeu Coll’s 2009 photo essay Nevermind Sovietland hauntingly records the lives of those who still live there. More: Tomeu CollInstagramFacebook h/t: guardian, designyoutrust

Alone in the light. On the train to the end of the world. #endoftheworld #snow #train #siberia #motherland #russia #photooftheday #35mm #35mmphotography #kodakportra

122 Likes, 3 Comments – Tomeu Coll (@tomeucoll) on Instagram: “Alone in the light. On the train to the end of the world. #endoftheworld #snow #train #siberia…”

Snow-Walker in Hudson, NY. 2017 with @marine_penvern and @chiarapansini #hudson #snowstorm #ny #walkalone #gasstation #35mm #blackandwhitephotography #blackandwhite #filmisnotdead #ishootfilm

88 Likes, 1 Comments – Tomeu Coll (@tomeucoll) on Instagram: “Snow-Walker in Hudson, NY. 2017 with @marine_penvern and @chiarapansini #hudson #snowstorm #ny…”

Vorkuta, Russia. www.tomeucollphoto.com @dmitrybrutov Could you tell us something about this place where you were living? #leicafotografieinternational #theguardian #vorkuta #arctic @leica_fotografie_international #documentaryphotography #documentary #myfeatureshoot #belatarr #chrismarker

115 Likes, 2 Comments – Tomeu Coll (@tomeucoll) on Instagram: “Vorkuta, Russia. www.tomeucollphoto.com @dmitrybrutov Could you tell us something about this place…”

I wish winter was already here. Vorkuta, springtime. @cativu @dmitrybrutov #arctic #polarcircle #sniek #purga #springtime #russia #photography #photooftheday #snowball #sovietbuilding #vorkuta #komi #arcticcircle #documentaryphotography #myfeatureshoot

121 Likes, 4 Comments – Tomeu Coll (@tomeucoll) on Instagram: “I wish winter was already here. Vorkuta, springtime. @cativu @dmitrybrutov #arctic #polarcircle…”

Driving around Komsomolskaya coal mine. Vorkuta ring Road. Komi Republik. Missing the Arctic Circle. #with @dmitrybrutov @cativu @marinainstatime #hitchcock #35mm #leica #m6 #vorkuta #komirepublic #arcticcircle #arcticpolarvortex #vortex #drive #documentaryphotography #documentary #myfeatureshoot #belatarr #chrismarker #tomeucoll #blackandwhitephotography #blackandwhite #filmisnotdead #ishootfilm

92 Likes, 4 Comments – Tomeu Coll (@tomeucoll) on Instagram: “Driving around Komsomolskaya coal mine. Vorkuta ring Road. Komi Republik. Missing the Arctic…”

Mad Max Brothers in Alsace, Strasbourg. More work to come soon… about living on the edges. #madmax #alsace #mountains #isolation #edgepeople #countrysidelife #photooftheday #lostlands #flatlands #scream #photooftheday #bw #filmphotography #35mmstreetphotography

154 Likes, 2 Comments – Tomeu Coll (@tomeucoll) on Instagram: “Mad Max Brothers in Alsace, Strasbourg. More work to come soon… about living on the edges….”

Snow-Walker in Hudson, NY. 2017 with @marine_penvern and @chiarapansini #hudson #snowstorm #ny #walkalone #gasstation #35mm #blackandwhitephotography #blackandwhite #filmisnotdead #ishootfilm

88 Likes, 1 Comments – Tomeu Coll (@tomeucoll) on Instagram: “Snow-Walker in Hudson, NY. 2017 with @marine_penvern and @chiarapansini #hudson #snowstorm #ny…”

Hotel Capsule & Single. Tokyo. #tokyo #sanssoleil #shinkansen #windowview #capsulehotel #single #timetravel #timemachine

129 Likes, 4 Comments – Tomeu Coll (@tomeucoll) on Instagram: “Hotel Capsule & Single. Tokyo. #tokyo #sanssoleil #shinkansen #windowview #capsulehotel #single…”

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