In 1997, a Russian poacher named Markov stumbled upon the trail of a massive Amur tiger. Despite the risks involved, Markov interpreted the tiger's footprints as a promise of a better life. He fired a shot at the tiger but failed to kill it. The Udege people believe that if someone attacks a tiger without justification, Amba, the spirit of the tiger, will relentlessly pursue retribution. Unexpectedly, Markov had unleashed Amba, the darker aspect of the tiger. 

Over the next 72 hours, the animal relentlessly tracked down Markov and ultimately killed him. Subsequent investigations suggested that the tiger planned its movements with a rare combination of strategy and instinct, and most notably, with a chilling clarity of purpose: Amba sought revenge.

Installation view. Fundación Cerezales, 2016

The Udege people have inhabited the Boreal Jungle for centuries, and their deep connection with nature has infused their beliefs with references to supernatural forces that demand reverence. 

This animistic belief serves as a guiding theme to understand the profound influence of nature on Udege communities within one of the few remaining bastions of shamanism: the hunter's culture of the Russian Far East.


(the photobook)
“The Hunt” could be the book that conciliates the documentary photography world, the artistic field and the photo-book making. With great doses of anthropologic and journalistic investigation, Laiz beautifully and delicately documents a fantastic and magic as rough and dodgy animistic story. The narrative far from being traditional, is an immersive dream of memories, fantasy, folklore and reality, put together as a song sung from parents to children
The intrinsic design compiles the journey both the author and the hunters follows through a landscape of mystery, mysticism and human challenges. Text, photography and research merges across the transparencies and superpositions of the white taiga. What I like the most about this object is how rounded it is. There is not a single piece out of tune, all blends together in a soft, harmonic and coherent way, “a rare mix of strategy and instinct”. 
Laia Abril

Developed with the support of Fundación Cerezales and Ideas Tap & Magnum Foundation

alvaro laiz, photography, documentary, alvarolaiz, spanish photography, photographer, Alvaro Laiz, visual artist,
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