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One of the world’s least livable cities on poetic photos

Even though he has been dabbling in photography since his teenage years, Paris-based photographer Christophe Jacrot started his career as a film director. He has won several awards with his short films, but feeling the financial constraints that the cinematographic industry can sometimes impose, Christophe Jacrot turned his attention to photography. His past in the movie industry show on his photos vividly, and they are also characterized by portraying places in weather conditions that we could never see in tourist magazines.

Working as a freelancer since 2006, Christophe was in the midst of a tourism-related project in Paris when he realized that the weather didn’t meet his original plans, yet he was captivated by the lights reflected by the wet asphalt once and for all. For instance he adores the city of Hong Kong in the times of the monsoon, while in the following series he captured the city of Norilsk, Siberia, amidst harsh conditions.

Norilsk lies on the northwestern part of the Central Siberian Plateau, 300 kilometers from the Arctic Circle. Its annual average temperature is minus 10 °C, and has a population of nearly 200,000. In addition to the extreme cold, due to the continuous lack of sunshine, isolation, and the surreally high prices and air pollution, Norilsk has been declared the world’s least livable city in several surveys.

Christophe puts the fleeting moments of everyday life into a poetic and romantic perspective. The soft, white layer portrayed on the photos gives an extraordinary, pastel-like ambience to the images, the cold becomes tangible, the same as the people’s longing for safety, closeness and warmth.

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