[2021 - 2022]
In the 1990s, a team of Russian scientists used a giant space mirror to reflect sunlight back to Earth. The aim was to light up northern Russia during the polar night. It worked. For a few seconds. The project was called "Znamya".
In 2021, a similar project was announced by the governor of the city of Murmansk, who promised his residents the construction of an artificial sun over his city. In doing so, the governor of the region is fulfilling Znamya's old ambitions, but like him, these populist announcements seem closer to yet another utopia than to reality.
I set off to the Murmansk region in search of what remains of the Znamya spirit. During my travels, I met landscapes and inhabitants. None of them has, until now, seen a single ray of artificial sunlight.