Description at the back: Villagers collecting scrap from a crashed spacecraft, surrounded by thousands of white butterflies. Altai Territory, Russia, 2000.
Taken in the Altai territory of Russia, north of the border with Kazakhstan in 2000. Two young guys are pulling copper wire from the hull of a crashed Soyuz spacecraft.
"I was chasing a story about people who live in the areas under the flightpath of space rocket launches from Baikonur, Russia’s biggest spaceport. As we know, everything that goes up eventually comes down, and each time a space rocket launches from Baikonur the massive booster stages fall down to earth once their fuel is depleted. Some locals complained about health problems and mysterious diseases allegedly stemming from the rocket crashes, others made good money out of them selling the precious high-grade scrap metal."
Jonas Bendiksen (1977) is a Norwegian photojournalist based near Oslo. He has published the books Satellites (2006) and The Places We Live (2008) and received awards from World Press Photo, International Center of Photography, National Magazine Awards and Pictures of the Year International. He is a member of Magnum Photos and has served as its president.