Jonathan Danko Kielkowski

Photography, Documentation


In the summers of 2015 and 2016, I was drawn to Svalbard to document the northernmost mining settlements in the world. I was particularly fascinated by Pyramiden, a mining town preserved in permafrost, as if frozen in time.

The spectacular panorama of the mountains, the monumental socialist architecture, houses left as if in a sudden departure, and the epic expanse of the landscape are as impressively desolate as they are surreal. Since its closure in 1998, the town and its mine were almost completely abandoned, and my photographs from 2015 show only reindeer wandering through the imposing spaces of this Russian prestige project. Today, Pyramiden has evolved into a novel tourist destination. An accompanying video documents the context of the creation of the Pyramiden series in Svalbard. It provides insights into the ice-locked tunnels and the deserted workers' town. As a photographer, I appear as a lone wanderer in the abandoned corridors and architectures, making this deserted and aesthetically appealing mine visible.

Das Bildmaterial wurde 2019 im Buch »Pyramiden« im White Press Verlag, in diversen Tageszeitungen, Print- und Web Magazinen sowie in Film und Fernsehen veröffentlicht.


  • 100 pages
  • Size: 31 x 23 cm
  • 68 color photographs, various formats
  • Weight: 920 g
  • Cover: Hardcover, 2 unique special colors
  • Content: Offset printing, consistently in color, thread stitching
  • Text: Jonathan Danko Kielkowski, Historical Expedition Report from 1919, Christoph Schaden, “Inside”
  • Languages: German, English
  • Edition limited to 600 copies
  • ISBN 978-3-946667-02-5