Niva to Nenets

NIVA TO NENETS is an interactive roadmovie in which a Russian Lada Niva is driven to the Nenets in the northwest of the Russian Federation. This photo genetic 4×4 vehicle will be equipped with a GPS, sound recording equipment and seven cameras that record situations and conversations in the car and on the road simultaneously. Changing co-drivers discuss their opinions and ideas about charity with the artist, who wants to give her beloved car to an indigenous reindeer herding people struggling with accelerated climate change. Within the genre of the roadmovie it creates awareness and discussion of the situation of the Nenets people of the Nenets Autonomous area. An innovative interface design enables viewers to focus on specific passengers or topics and to choose both the order and the view angle of selected scenes, encouraging them to extend their view upon the paradox of bringing help.

The (semi-)nomadic Nenets in Russia are threatened in the continuation of their traditional livelihood. Accelerated climate change, oil- and gas industry, negative aspects of modernization and pressure from the globalizing world make it more difficult to continue chosen a life with the reindeers, which is closely related to the culture and indigenous identity of this arctic people. The Lada Niva consumes fuel that is extracted from Russian tundra and is causing part of the contemporary climate changes. Though, the car is made for driving on the rough tundra and is rather easy to repair. It can be beneficial for a reindeer herding family, for example to drive the children to school, but in the meantime it will also contribute in the threats of their existence. Such paradoxical dilemmas  are discussed on the road with changing co-drivers. Intertwined with joyful moments and unpredictable situations, this project will result in a reflection upon human behavior that is typical for the arts: an artistic visualization of human thoughts, views and actions.

NIVA TO NENETS is supported by Kunstendecreet and Fonds Roger Dillemans. Participatory practices that are initiated and designed for this roadmovie are researched in the PhD TOWARDS TOGETHERNESS.

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