For the past 11 years, ethno-photographer Alexander Khimushin has traveled across the globe to document indigenous people and immortalize their culture by featuring their portraits in his “The World in Faces” project.
Alexander spent about 10 months driving over 15,000 miles alone behind the wheel of his trusty SUV. He spent more than six months of that in the most remote places in Siberia to photograph the peoples of the frozen land.
Incredibly, Alexander managed to visit all the indigenous ethnic minority groups living in these regions. Sadly, they remain mostly unknown not only to the outside world but also to Russia itself.
Some of the groups are also at risk of total extinction, with their total population varying from a few dozen to a few hundred people.
Alexander embarked on this journey to honor their culture and, hopefully, help preserve it.
He often travels in extreme weather conditions. The settlements where most of the minorities live are far apart, making Alexander’s journey more challenging. He traverses hundreds of kilometers of taiga with no connection to the outside world.
But the result of his expedition is well worth it. He has captured incredible photographs of the inhabitants of Eastern Siberia and the Far East, including the Tofalars, Taz, Uilta, Orochi, Nivkhi, and Negidals.
A project of this scale hasn’t been undertaken by any other photographer, traveler, or ethnographer, making this feat a great accomplishment.
Alexander started “The World in Faces,” a project about “peace and love,” to make viewers realize that we all live in a beautiful yet fragile world.
“Every nation is no better or worse than others, we are simply different. However, our differences should not be an obstacle to understanding each other or a cause for hatred. Quite the opposite, we must admire and respect our diversity and the uniqueness of every nation living on this planet,” the photographer wrote.
Alexander was born and raised in Yakutia in Siberia. At age nine, he picked up his grandfather’s camera and took his first pictures. That’s when his passion for photography began.
He established a successful photo business in Yakutia but eventually closed it down and moved to Queensland, Australia, to pursue a childhood dream. There, he earned a post-graduate degree in Business Administration at James Cook University.
However, Alexander felt that his true calling was photography. So, he left his business career behind and set on a journey with only his backpack and a dream.
Since then, Alexander has traveled across the globe, choosing to explore only the most remote and inaccessible places.
This project is one of the stunning fruits of his lifelong endeavor of learning about the cultures and traditional way of living of indigenous ethnic groups in these regions.
Check out the gallery below to see his stunning shots of the indigenous people of Siberia.