Claudine Doury travelled to Far East Siberia for the first time in 1991, and again in 1997, to document the lives of the peoples who settled along the banks of the Amur River. Twenty years later, she returned to the region in search of the Nanai, Ultche and Nivkh families she had met on her previous trips. She wanted to bear witness to the passage of time on these families photographed at the time, but also to the changes that had taken place on a larger scale in these populations. This contemporary and intimate portrait of the native peoples of the Amur River allows her to redefine the contours of a territory that bears the traces of its history: the conquest of the East, the arrival of the Cossacks and the Russian settlement over the centuries. Like Love, Claudine Doury’s images constitute a set of historical, temporal and physical strata. In an approach that is both artistic and documentary, her photography is a tangible form of the idea of loss, but also of what remains.
Claudine Doury is the 2017 winner of the Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière – Académie des beaux-arts prize for her project Une odyssée sibérienne, which allowed her to produce this work.