Maija Tammi November 20, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Kyrgyzstan.
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan 2013
Maija Tammi (b. 1985, Finland) is currently working on her doctoral thesis in photography at Aalto University. Her photographs and sculptures converse on topics around disgust, fear and abnormality. In 2011 she won the Fotofinlandia award (the largest photography award in Finland) and the Photojournalist of the Year 2010 award. Her work has been exhibited at Photographic Gallery Hippolyte in Helsinki and one at Gallerija Makina in Pula, Croatia and in group shows at the New York Photo Festival and at the gallery Bar Floreal in Paris. Her photographs have appeared in OjodePez and Polka magazines. Maija is member of the Finnish documentary photography collective 11. Her first book Leftover/Removals ( Kehrer Verlag) was recently published.
About the Photograph:
“The people in this photograph are hoping for someone to see them. It was made in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in the spring 2013 while on assignment for the Red Cross. These local people are looking for their long lost relatives. They are holding photos of their relatives for the videographer in the hope that someone will see their photographs. I was taking photos close to the cameraman and was misidentified as part of the Russian TV crew, although I am wearing a Red Cross badge. I had no way of correcting the mistake while they were filming. The people were pushing each other trying to get to the front of the crowd holding photographs of sons, daughters, brothers, mothers, and uncles. Most of the photos were decades old. One showed a niece, who moved to Kazakhstan when she was 21, another showing a husband’s brother, who left to find work in Uzbekistan over 20 years ago.”
Noriko Hayashi February 10, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Kyrgyzstan.
Bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan. 2013
Noriko Hayashi (b.1983, Japan) began taking pictures for a small local newspaper in Gambia, West Africa, when she was still a university student in International Relations. Working in a small place like Gambia, which is rarely the focus of international news but is full of interesting stories, taught Noriko the value of covering the overlooked realities of every strand of society. She won the first prize in 2012 DAYS International Photojournalism Awards and was awarded three Kiyosato’s Young Portfolio Acquisitions Awards (2010, 2011, 2012). Noriko was also finalist for the Alexia foundation professional grant. In 2013, she won The Visa D’or feature awards at Visa Pour l’Image festival in France. Her work has been published in the International Herald Tribune, National Geographic Japan, Newsweek, Der Spiegel and Le Monde among others. Noriko is currently based in Tokyo.
About the Photograph:
I spent five months visiting villages throughout Kyrgyzstan and sometimes I was able to witness the practice. According to local NGO’s, as many as 40% of ethnic Kyrgyz women are married by the process of ala kachuu (‘grab and run’) or bride kidnapping. Though illegal since 1994, the authorities largely turn a blind eye to the practice. Most commonly, the putative groom will gather a group of young men and charter a car to go and look for the woman he wants to marry. Unsuspecting women are then often dragged off the street and bundled into the car which takes them straight to the man’s house where frequently the family will have already started to make preparations for the wedding.”
“Once girls are taken inside the kidnapper’s home, female elders play a pivotal role in persuading her to accept the marriage. They try to cover the girl’s head with a white scarf, symbolizing that she is ready to marry her kidnapper. After several hours of struggle, around 84% of kidnapped women end up agreeing to the marriage. Their parents often also pressure the girls, as once she has entered her kidnappers home she is considered no longer pure, making it shameful for her to return home. To avoid scandal and disgrace they tend to remain with their kidnappers. Prior to the Soviet period when the people were living a nomadic life, the majority of the marriages were arranged by parents. Although non-consensual bride-kidnapping occurred rarely, it was not common and was not socially accepted. Marriages resulting from bride kidnapping are also thought to result in significantly higher rates of domestic abuse and divorce and numerous cases of suicide amongst women who were kidnapped have been recorded.”
William Daniels July 9, 2010Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Kyrgyzstan.
Tags: Kyrgyzstan, photography
Osh, Kyrgyzstan 2008
William Daniels (b. 1977, France) began his career by photographing street children in the Philippines in 2004. In 2007, he won the Lagardere Foundation grant for a long term project on Kyrgyzstan. This story, screened at Visa festival in 2009 and will be published in book form. His long-term work on Malaria, Mauvais Air, was exhibited on the Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris in 2008 and has received several awards including 3rd Prize in the World Press Photo and 1st Prize in the POYi. His photographs have appeared in Le Monde 2, Newsweek, Elle, La Republica and Der Spiegel. He has collaborated with organizations including Open Society Institute, MSF, The Global Fund and various UN agencies. He is represented by Panos Pictures.
About the Photograph:
“I took this photograph while waiting in my guide’s car during a traffic jam in Osh, the main city in southern Kyrgyzstan. There was this nice winter light on the lady’s face that was filtered by the trees along the road. I made two frames. She wasn’t looking at me on the first shot and I finally kept this one as I preferred her expression. This image is part of a long term social portrait of Kyrgyzstan called Faded Tulips. The aim of this work was to establish whether the 2005 tulips revolution was a real hope of change and democratization for Kirghize people. I believe that the situation in Kyrgyzstan is now worse than it was before the Tulips revolution. Frustration and anger are growing and another event -a real uprising this time- is about to happen. Lets hope the new leaders will resist to the appeal of the nepotism that is characteristic of so many central Asian countries.”