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Siberia, a journey in the land of women
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Abstract in English

In the winter of 2004 and the spring of 2005, Anne Brunswic traveled twice to Siberia, crisscrossing this region/ continent extensively, a region whose history has primarily been a tragic one, marked by political upheaval and severe economic depression. From the White Sea to the Pacific Ocean, from Yakutia to Birobidjan, from the mines of Kolema to the port of Vladivostok, she wandered through this wide, sometimes deserted countryside, magnificent, stark, meeting the few native Siberians and European immigrants still surviving in the extreme climatic conditions. This is also where Orthodox Christians, animists, the descendants of the butchers of the gulags and the families of their victims have ended up, scratching out a bare living.

Anne Brunswic decided to seek out the women of Siberia, be they poets, singers, journalists, cooks, professors or museum curators. Natalya, Tamara, Ludmila, Irina ... they share with her their professional and personal stories, their political and religious beliefs, the tragedies which have touched their families, their bereavement, how they manage in their day-to-day lives, speaking quietly about the dreams they had when they were young.

We follow the author, a keen observer of daily life, on her voyage, learning with her how these Russians living at the end of the world – make sense of their brutal historical experiences, about the hopes they still have for the future. She becomes a messenger, a voice reaching out to these women separated by thousands of kilometers. In spite of the difficulty and the uncertainty of their lives, most of the women speak of their attachment to Siberia, to the land, to its standards of brotherhood and adventure. Each of them is convinced that their bruised and broken country will someday move forward into a new day.

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