Almost from the very beginning of Murmansk’s history, right up until 1940, there was a Chinese district that was referred to as “Shanghai”; with the Chinese population making up the second largest diaspora after the Tatars. From where did they come from and where did they disappear? In Olga Zhitlina’s video work, we follow this history through the eyes of a young Chinese architect invited to work at a leading Chinese construction company that is tasked with building a shipyard in the city. As well as Tamara Vasilyevna, the janitor of the Murmansk Museum of Local History, cleaning the dust of its history.
At the edge of the world, where the polar night reigns for half the winter, “hungry ghosts, restless souls who have died by evil death, who have ended their lives before a measured period, forced to remain between worlds, are roaming. These spirits are doomed to the pangs of hunger and thirst. Their throats are as thin as a needle, and their mouths flame. Any food that they bring to their mouths turns to burning coal”.