Jonas Bendiksen arrived in Russia from his native Norway in 1998 at the age of twenty. Expelled two years later because of an “administrative problem,” he spent the next five years exploring and documenting the unrecognized states, breakaway republics and remote communities in the southern borderlands of the former USSR, culminating in the series, “Satellites”. The project took Bendiksen from Eastern Europe to Central Asia, taking in the spacecraft crash zones between Russia and Kazakhstan. It was in one such zone that Bendiksen took the now iconic photograph of villagers collecting scrap metal from the wreckage of a crashed spacecraft, surrounded by thousands of white butterflies.

Magnum Editions 8×10″ and Contact Sheet pairings allow you to follow the photographer’s process, frame by frame, giving insight into the decisions taken to create the final iconic image, sold alongside the contact sheet as an 8×10″ print. This pairing features photos of Altai Territory, Russia. 2000.

Get Magnum news and updates directly to your inbox