Pyramiden, a Town Frozen in Time

Explore a place where correspondence is precious and political talk is strictly forbidden.

Pyramiden, a former Soviet coal-mining community on the island of Spitsbergen, Norway, was closed in 1988, becoming a ghost town. Today, following efforts to make Pyramiden into a tourist attraction, six people reside on the island more or less full time.

Filmmaker David Beazley follows Aleksandr Romanovsky, Pyramiden's tour guide, as he reflects on his isolation, strums Lana Del Ray covers on his acoustic guitar, and tells jokes about polar bears while taking visitors through the outpost facilities. He calls himself “the northernmost headbanger,” takes pride in his work and feels perfectly at home at the edge of the world.