The Snow of Yesteryear

PhotographerOded Wagenstein
PrizeHonorable Mention
City/Countrykefar sirkin, Israel
Photo DateMarch 2017
Entry Description

Far in an isolated village in Northern Siberia, a group of women lives. They were part of a migratory community of herders named Nenets, but the women no longer wander. They were outcast by their clan, who believe them to be "too old" to wander with the rest. They now live in permanent housing, cut off from their community. While at the same time, men of the same age or older, are encouraged to continue to live in the wandering community without issue. I sat with them for days and over many cups of tea, I heard their stories, lullabies, and longing for the life they had. All the women I met on this journey seem to share the same frustration. Frustration over the feeling of being "purposeless," as Pudani Audi (seen in picture 1) told me: "I miss my family, my tribe, and the Tundra, my love. But it seems I am no longer needed there. My part is over."

About Photographer

Born in the Middle East to a family of migrants from the Balkans, Oded Wagenstein (1986) uses the photographic medium to explore the themes of Aging, Longing, and Memory. His work has been published in BBC, National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler among others. He published three books. Working with JDC-ESHEL, part of a global NGO advocating for the elderly, creating a ground for a better intergenerational understanding and bond. He is also a senior lecturer at the Galitz School of Photography, based in Tel Aviv, where he teaches thousands of students, both Jews and Muslims to use