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Goodbye My Chechnya | Photographer: Diana Markosian

Goodbye My Chechnya | Photographer: Diana Markosian | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

For young girls in Chechnya the most innocent acts could mean breaking the rules.A Chechen girl caught smoking is cause for arrest; while rumors of a couple having sex before marriage can result in an honor killing.

The few girls who dare to rebel become targets in the eyes of Chechen authorities.After nearly two decades of vicious war and 70 years of Soviet rule, during which religious participation was banned, modern-day Chechnya is going through Islamic revival. The Chechen government is building mosques in every village, prayer rooms in public schools, and enforcing a stricter Islamic dress code for both men and women. This photo essay chronicles the lives of young Muslim girls who witnessed the horrors of two wars and are now coming of age in a republic that is rapidly redefining itself as a Muslim state. - Diana Markosian

Photo report's insight:

The Russian republic of Chechnya has been undergoing an Islamic revival. Having existed under Soviet rule for 70 years before getting caught up in a war with the Russian Federation that lasted almost two decades, the tiny state has turned to Islam in what looks to be an attempt to maintain some semblance of identity and drive a wedge between itself and the land of Putin. The Chechen government is building mosques in every village, prayer rooms in public schools, and enforcing a stricter Islamic dress code for both men and women. It might be miles away from Islamabad, but Chechnya's gone Islamamad.

For young women in particular, this has led to a change in what they can expect to do with their lives. Smoking, for instance, is definitely a good reason to spend a night in jail, while premarital sex must seem less attractive when the president of your country has given his public approval to any family who feels like carrying out an honor killing.

Photographer Diana Markosian spent some time in the area getting to know a group of Muslim girls who grew up during the wars, chronicling their coming of age in a region that is rapidly redefining itself as an Islamic state.

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Khanh Fleshman's curator insight, December 6, 2013 8:54 AM

This appears on my page because it shows the troubles of women in countries like Chechnya and how hard every day life is for them. People that could benefit from reading this are women in countries that may take their rights and freedoms for granted, because it provides the perspective of women who are forced to live in these restricting conditions. This relates to Half the Sky because the book also illustrates how easy it is for women in these societies to make perceived transgressions in the eyes of the men.

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The chechen refugees | Photographer: Gianni Giosue

The chechen refugees | Photographer: Gianni Giosue | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

My project wants to document the daily lives of the Chechen refugees living in the Pankisi Valley, Republic of Georgia. They came to Georgia about 12 years ago following the wars that ravaged the Republic of Chechnya in 1994-96 and 1999-2000. 

Ever since they have been trying to relocate to a third country or to start a new life. Some of them managed to be relocated to Northern America or to some European states. 

Some others stayed behind and were left in a legal limbo. It takes about 10 years to be able to qualify for Georgian citizenship. Some of them still have no documents: as a consequence it is difficult to be integrated, find a job and live a normal life.- Gianni Giosue

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