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Graeme Jennings November 2, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.
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Kuliga, Russia 2008

Graeme Jennings (b. 1978, New Zealand)  grew up in Auckland and completed a course in photography at the Unitec Institute of Technology in 1998. In 2001 he moved to England and freelanced as a news photographer and traveled extensively throughout Eastern Europe. Graeme has  photographed the impact of landmines in Bosnia Herzegovina for the NGO Norwegian Peoples Aid. He has also under taken assignments in Azerbaijan, and the southern Russian republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia, where he has photographed internally displaced populations for the Danish Refugee Council.  Graeme’s work has  appeared in GEO and the British Journal of photography.  In 2008 he moved to the States and is currently based in Washington D.C.

About the Photograph:

“I took this photograph in the small village of Kuliga – A former collective farm with a population of twelve. The village is located in the Komi Republic, a region located in the far north of the Russian European plain.  The elderly woman in the foreground is on her way home after visiting  a friend for tea in a nearby house. Following the dissolution of socialism and the subsequent economic reforms of the 1990’s, the collective farms and state run enterprises that provided a means of employment and prosperity for rural villages were forced to close. The few who have remained are mostly the old and alienated, struggling with a lack of identity and resolve. With an entire ideology suddenly gone, along with the lack of employment opportunities, the social fabric of the Russian village has slowly fallen apart.  Of the approximate 150,000 of Russia’s rural villages, over 13,000 have been abandoned altogether as more and more people migrate to the cities.”

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