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Tiksi | Photographer: Evgenia Arbugaeva

Tiksi | Photographer: Evgenia Arbugaeva | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

Once upon a time in Siberia, on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, in a warm bed in a small town, a little girl woke up from a dream. It was morning, but it was still dark out, for the little town was so far North that the sun would not show itself for many months. They called this the Polar Night.

The little girl rubbed the sleep from her eyes and dressed in the dark. She put on her pink jacket and red stocking cap and stepped outside. Her breath froze and she walked in the direction of school. All around her were endless fields of frozen tundra. But the fields were not white like you might think, for up above the Aurora Borealis lit up the sky. It looked like a big green breath frozen in the heavens and all around the little girl were beautiful colors. The snow was painted green. And on some mornings—if she was lucky—she’d even see bits of blue, yellow and pink on her walk to school.

She loved these colors very much. Walking through them made her imagination come alive. She liked to think of the fields as blank canvases for Mother Nature to paint upon. And what did that make her? Was she part of the painting too, in her pink jacket and red hat?

She smiled and her mind began dreaming of the days when the Polar Night would come to an end, when the first sun would light up the snowy mountains, making it look like blueberry ice cream. And then the summer would come, the snow would melt and the tundra would transform into planet Mars with it’s golden color seeming to stretch out forever in every direction.

She thought to herself, “Every season has its own colors.” She stored all these colors in her heart, and walked beneath the Aurora Borealis in this little town way up North.

The town was called Tiksi. - 

 

Photo report's insight:

Evgenia Arbugaeva is one of 50 photographers in the Critical Mass 2011 exhibition Contents: Love, Anxiety, Happiness & Everything Else atPhoto Center NW. This exhibition, juried by Darius Himes, will also travel to Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, and RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco, furthering the mission of all four photography organizations to bring top emerging talent to the public.

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Chernobyl's Last Breath | Photographer: Diana Markosian

Chernobyl's Last Breath | Photographer: Diana Markosian | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

On April 26, 1986, reactor number four at the Chernobyl nuclear power facility in what is now the Ukraine exploded. 

For years, the Soviet authorities withheld information on Chernobyl, both from its own people and from the rest of the world. 

While many cities, towns and villages were immediately evacuated in the aftermath of the world’s worst nuclear accident, residents of Redkovka, a village just 35 km from the reactor, refused to leave.

Lida and Mikhail Masanovitz, both in their 70s, live in the desolate village. The couple were both born in Redkovka, and never considered moving out, not even after they learned about Chernobyl.

The village today lies almost empty and decrepit. It is classified a zone two, making it too dangerous for anyone to live in. Its remaining residents are living off the land, eking out their silent years in the shadow of Chernobyl.

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Sailboats and Swans | Photographer: Michal Chelbin

Sailboats and Swans | Photographer: Michal Chelbin | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

Sailboats and Swans, shot in seven prisons in the Ukraine and Russia over the past six years, explores what it means to be locked and constantly watched. The title refers to the idiosyncratic, and almost mocking, bucolic and fantastical murals and wallpaper backgrounds I found throughout the prisons.

 

These contradictions of life in prison abound in girls’ flowery dress prison uniforms, murderers working as nannies to other women’s babies in the new mothers’ prison, young girls serving time alongside grandmothers – perhaps witness to their own futures, and the mesmerizing human blend of fear and cruelty in the boys’ and mens’ prison – where big tattooed bodies are now zombie-like, worn down by the daily travails of trying to survive being locked up in a world devoid of hope.—Michal Chelbin

 

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Displaced: The Mongolian Kazakhs | Photographer: Christo Geoghegan

Displaced: The Mongolian Kazakhs | Photographer: Christo Geoghegan | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

When Kazakhstan declared itself an independent country in 1991 with the fall of the Soviet Union, the newly elected prime minister Nursultan Nazirbyaev set out to try and reclaim the rich cultural heritage of the Kazakhs that had been lost after years of Russian rule and its resulting colonisation.
Border agreements, forced collectivisation under Stalin and the Chinese Cultural revolution were just a few of many factors which led to mass Kazakh migration across regions now known as Bayan-Ölgii (Mongolian’s westernmost state) and Xinjinag (China), where Kazakh culture tradition are still practiced the same way in which they have for hundreds of years. In Bayan-Ölgii, 90% of the native population are Kazakh with Kazakh being the state language also.
This mass migration has led to a cultural crisis in Kazakhstan, where Soviet rule had all but wiped out these cultural traditions. Practices such as the art of hunting with eagles and the nomadic way

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Karelia, Russia | Photographer: Steve McCurry

Karelia, Russia | Photographer: Steve McCurry | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

"Karelia, the land of the Karelian peoples, is an area in Northern Europe of historical significance for Finland, Russia, and Sweden. 
It is currently divided between the Russian Republic of Karelia, the Russian Leningrad Oblast, and Finland."  - Steve McCurry


Steve McCurry, photojournalist, displays his recent work in essay form as well as offering a gallery of well-known work.

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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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ECHOES OF THE COLLAPSE | Photographer: Sergei Isaenko

ECHOES OF THE COLLAPSE | Photographer: Sergei Isaenko | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

"In August 1991, while living in Vladikavkaz, Russia, my family watched on an old television screen as the tanks rolled over the Red Square in what is now known as the “August Coup”, a civil action to take over the government. Ultimately it led to the final dissolution of the Soviet Union and ushered in the last stage of theCollapse – the tragic ending of an ideological experiment. As the Iron Curtain fell, a mass migration of refuges spread all over the world from under the dying carcass of the Soviet monster in search of better life. These people including my family are the Echoes of the Collapse."- Sergei Isaenko

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