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City in the tundra

A billboard featuring a polar bear in Russia.

The stories we tell ourselves. . . Anadyr is the urban heart of Chukotka. It’s home to 15,000 people, but with the apartment buildings, administration centres, a cultural complex, swimming pool, movie theatre, supermarket, mall, and some hotels, it feels like a city.

It’s a city in the middle of the tundra on the edge of the Bering Sea. It’s both embedded in and removed from the wilderness.

These billboards hang on apartment buildings all over town, as if to say, Hey, there are bears out here, remember? The bears can be part of who you are. You can exists beyond this painted concrete, beyond the shops and the slushy sidewalk. You can be part of this wildness.

But does that make it true?

Photo by Eric Guth.

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