© Anna Filipova, All Rights Reserved.
The mines in the Svalbard archipelago, situated just under the North Pole are the northernmost in the world. Norway and Russia are the only two nations with settlements there. It was the coal mining that established communities in Svalbard during the 1920s and nowadays it still remains the main industry.
Currently there are two mining companies that operates in Svalbard (a Norwegian and a Russian one). The settlements are run as private company towns. This means virtually that the entire population is employed by the mine. In many ways the company controls their populations (who may live there, what work they do, what goods they can purchase). It is a place trapped in the past, not much has changed since it was build. Being a community traditionally based on mining, Svalbard is still a male dominated society. Nowadays most of Svalbard residents are transient. After all Svalbard is more or less a workplace.