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This photograph, from 2018, was part of that project, Hiding from Baba Yaga – a reference to a figure from Slavic folklore, a supernatural being who appeared to those who encountered her as an elderly woman. According to various tales, she was depicted as everything from a child-eating ghoul to a kind companion who helped people roaming the land where Heitmann’s project was photographed.
The image shows an annual horse race that takes place during Naadym, the national festival of the Siberian region, Tuva. Every year, young men in the area race each other across a distance of 30km, on horses without saddles. The race usually takes place in August, when the high temperatures of summer have dropped, but in 2018 it was held in July. At 10AM, when Heitmann took this photograph, the mercury registered at 45 degrees – and she later found out that several horses had died in the heat.