35mm half-frame diptychs, 2018

A Tongue on Hot Iron explores religious plurality in Siberia: a place where Othodox Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism and ancient Shamanism not only coexist, but thrive concurrently. Often cast as barren, inaccessible and inhospitable, Siberia in reality it is a place that exemplifies understanding, mutual aid and community support. From the quotidian to the ritualistic, A Tongue on Hot Iron seeks to highlight how spirituality manifests itself in these everyday interactions on the tundra.

Taken on 50-year old half-frame cameras which provide two frames for each exposure, these paired images of shamans, monks, priests, worshipers, devotees and skeptics alike seek to give a unique window into the juxtaposed mosaic that makes up modern Siberia.

Images from this series are draw from locations across Eastern Siberia, including: Irkutsk, Buryatia, Olkhon Island and rural Transbaikalia.  

all images © Nathaniel J. Brown, 2022