For her series, New Path, documentary photographer and anthropologist Alegra Ally travelled to the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia to study and document the Nenets way of life.
For thousands of years, indigenous Nenets have lived nomadic lifestyles herding reindeer across the Yamal Peninsula in the Russian Arctic. The Khudi family is one of 12,000 Nenets still migrating the same routes as their ancestors have done for centuries.
By following the Khudi family, Ally opens a window on Nenets life today, highlighting how they have adjusted to modern life, how their culture evolved in light of recent resource extraction developments, globalisation, climate change – factors which both enrich and threaten their collective identity.
The journey takes another dramatic turn as Lena – nine months pregnant – prepares for giving birth while the family needs to continue their annual winter migration in order to ensure the future of their herd of 800 reindeer. The birth saga thus becomes emblematic of the struggle for survival of the culture.
Currently living in Sydney, Australia, Ally has spent the last eight years dedicating her work to project Wild Born, to document and revitalise through ethical photography the traditional practices and beliefs of major life events of indigenous women such as rite of passage initiations, pregnancy, birth and postpartum rituals.
You can now support her cause by purchasing a copy of her latest book, New Path by Alegra Ally, available from July and published by Schilt Publishing.