Explorer Mikael Strandberg

Frozen Frontier: Winning The Golden Goggles

Where to begin? This has been one of the most extra ordinary weeks of my life! So I guess from the beginning….

Back in February 2013 I did a journey and a documentary in one of the most spectacular places on earth, Yakutia. You can see the trailer here to get an idea:

So, basically only a month ago I was told that the film would be part of the Yakutsk International Film Festival competing in the feature film section. And I was invited to take part in this week. After consulting the family, I decided to go. A high light of my life of course and with the help of many friends, it turned out the most likely Slava, one of the heroes of the film would also come and I realized, this is like a dream coming true. I had no idea whether they had seen the film or not. And, it was onl their judgement of the film that really mattered. And I was nervous what they would say and think about the film. I white man´s eyes are unfortunately a white man´s eyes of things, and my greatest wish would be that they felt the film was an accurate depiction of their lives. But first I had a full day in Moscow.


Douglas who I met first back in 2006 helped me out with his kindness, so after meeting Per from the Swedish Embassy, I was taken on a tour I had asked for. I wanted to take a few photos of Soviet stuff still around. So first we went to V.I Lenin´s mausoleum at the Red Square. My visit to Ho Shi Minhs in Hanoi fascinated me and I felt a need to see Lenin´s. And, as in Hanoi, you can´t stop, have your hands in your pockets or take photos, so I tried to walk as slow as possible and saw Lenin´s white face and his body dressed in a suit and tie. Odd in many ways. I say odd, because most leaders are buried on the Red Square and outisde the mausoleum, busts showed where the other leaders were buried. like Stalin, my least fav, Vorosilov, and many, many others. And, the fact is, there´so much death and suffering involved with every one of them there. So afterwards I went to see the Gulag museum, the park of Statues and the great museum, basically just to see more Soviet kitch. Late that night I flew to Yakutsk, but landed there early in the morning. 6 hours time difference and I had two sleepless nights behind me.


Yegor picked me up at the airport together with my chosen translator this week, Anya, who would turn out to become a great friend, just like Yegor. And from this moment it was all a roller coaster! And I will let my (and others) photos tell it all!

Basically, the film Frozen Frontier,were awarded a Golden Goggle For the Best Film Photography!



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