© Donald Weber/VII Network
Gravedigger Arkady Timofeev takes a break after a day of digging graves in Vorkuta, a coal mining town in the Komi Rebublic in Russia. Founded by prisoners, the region is populated by descendants of former zeks (Gulag prisoners) and prison authorities. Vorkuta had one of the largest concentrations of Gulag camps in the USSR. They bury about 5 people a day there, which is high above the Russian average for such a small town, and the only guaranteed form of employment in this quickly dying town.
Photographer Donald Weber recently won the Duke and Duchess of York Prize in Photography for 2009. This prize is awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts. The exhibition of Donald Weber: Russian Archive is on view until December 31 at the Alice Austen House, 2 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island.