Siberia: joining the dots

Letter from Siberia

Dear Sarah,

My name is Anne Gruzdeva (Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia). I am a journalist and project lead
of Siberia: Joining the Dots project.

I am writing this mail to kindly ask you about prospective contribution to National Geographic. Firstly, I would like to give you an overview of Siberia: Joining the Dots.

Our project is basically aimed at unhiding Siberia for people from other countries. We show different localities focusing on the interlacing of culture, geography, and ways of living; delving into ethnic studies and its transformations; finding points where world history meets regional history. And of course we show Siberian people who share their life stories. Those stories help us depict this vast region of Russia in a compelling and profound narrative.

National Geographic has always been one of my guiding beacons in journalism; and it would be
a great honor for me to contribute to the magazine and tell your readers about a large part
of Russia that is Siberia. Also, I would venture an opinion that National Geographic
and Siberia: Joining the Dots project both serve the same higher professional purpose — telling vivid, deep and unique stories about places and people that open the world for the reader. Presently, we are looking for media partners who would be interested in getting our texts published in English so we could show Siberia not only to Russians. Here is a gist of those articles about Siberia already available for publishing and those in progress.
What: Dickson Settlement of Russia's Arctic
Status: Published in March 2016
In spring 2015, we published a big article about Russian settlement of Dickson located on Russia's Arctic Ocean coast (in Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District of Krasnoyarsk Krai). In this project, we showed the Soviet past of the Arctic; the Arctic of the 1990s after the USSR breakup; and the Arctic today. The first part of the project called On the Verge of Snow features Dickson people telling their stories: stories of a fisherman, a meteorologist, a driver. The second one — Meeting on Odnoklasniki (Russian social network) presents a series of interviews with those polar explorers who left Dickson and those who spent their lives there. Please see both parts of the projectin English enclosed.
What: Today's Nomads of Altai (the Altai Republic, Russia) — about Altaiansand Altai Kazakhs
Work in progress

In summer 2015 and 2016, we went on the expedition to the Altai Republic. We travelled along the Siberian Silk Route of Chuysky Trakt (Chuya Highway) which National Geographic Russia included on a list of top-10 most wonderful roads trips in the world. We are going to summarize our findings in the articles covering such topics as cattle breeding in Altai and the life of the today's nomads, national culture, updated ritual of a Kazakh wedding, Kazakh and Altaian cuisine, as long as the problems of migration.
Photo by Anton Petrov and Daba Dabaev
What: Travelogue on the Chara Sands and Borsky Corrective Work Camp (Gulag settlement) located in the Marble Gorge of the Kodar Mountain Range, Zabaikalsky Krai
Work in progress
In August 2014, the first project expedition took place in Chara and the Kodar Range. The second one is scheduled on August 2016. There are so many fantastic spots in Siberia; the Chara Sands and the Kodar Mountains are the ones that top the list, though actually even Siberians are not always aware of those. The Chara Sands is a small northern desert 3 miles wide by 6 miles long embraced by the Siberian taiga and mountain peaks.

In the Marble Gorge area situated not far from the sand dunes you can find the ruins of the former Stalin's Gulag settlement—Borsky Work Camp. Standing 6,500 feet above sea level, the camp is a sort of an open-air museum with a mine adit, shacks, and household furnishings (some USSR artefacts are exhibited in the local historical museum). In the Soviet era, the area was uncharted, being marked on geographic maps as "mining settlement, non-housing". In the truest sense of the word, the USSR history grew into the rocks along the Sakukan River and the Stalin Road running down the bank and leading to the camp. The Road was used to deliver food for prisoners and superintendents. Now it's a mossed path though still discernible for travelers. Our goal is to fully analyze the ruins of the Borsky Camp for the article about the Stalin's camp, Kodar
and Chara Sands because we think it's important to keep the memory of the 20th century in Russia's history.
Photo by Anton Petrov
Dear Sarah,

1. I am wondering if you are interested in publishing our completed and translated article
about Dickson Settlement of Russia's Arctic?

2. Also, would you kindly agree to accept our contribution of articles in progress (Altai, Chara
and Kodar)?

After several years of working, Siberia: Joining the Dots encompasses a wide-ranging repertoire
of texts, photos and ideas that we can propose to our partners and that will meet their unique features, identity and concept of the magazine.

3. I would appreciate if you specify your compensation rates.

I will be happy to have an opportunity to share Siberia with foreign readers and contribute
to such a reputed media.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely yours,
Anna Gruzdeva
Siberia: Joining the Dots Project Lead,
Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia

Sincerely yours,
Anna Gruzdeva
Siberia: Joining the Dots Project Lead,
Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia

Siberia: Joining the Dots