WE'VE BEEN DOCUMENTING GREATTHINGS AROUND THE WORLD FOR
10 YEARS AS PHOTO REPORTERS.
NOW WE'RE LOOKING FOR STORIES TO TELL WITH DOCU FILMS.
From mid-90s Tajikistan turned to a country of women. More than 2 million Tajiks left to look for work in Russia. Mostly it was young men.
Adila has a big family, husband and 3 sons, she hasn't seen them for 2 years, they are working in the city of Omsk, Russia.
Farishta hasn't seen her husband for almost a year. He left to work in Russia 3 weeks after the wedding.
Baizo lives in a small village near Pamir highway with two kids. She said that her husband is trying to send her some money, but he couldn't always do it: he's a simple village man, and people in a big city take advantage of it. He often doesn't get paid for work or has to bribe the police. Baizo only wishes to know if he's safe and she could rely on his help for next month.
Anzurat lives in a village located 8km from the nearest road. Everything she has in her house was carried by people and donkeys.
The village of Karakul in Pamir near the border of China. Until 90s, there was a Soviet military base near the village, that provided work for locals, but the fall of USSR left people unemployed and the village empty.
68 years old Shukrona is taking care of four little grandkids. Their parents left to work in Russia when the youngest of them was 7 months old.
Only one or Sayera's four daughters got married. All young men in the village left.
Little Dulhuz is raised by old grandparents. She never saw mom and dad.
Parents of Ashona's husband are giving her a hard life. She has to do all the work around the house and for the village. She's studying to be a nurse and dreams to follow her husband to Russia. But the elders don't let her go and try to get her out of studies.
Women in Tajikistan are working in every part of country economy, although traditionally they're suppose to stay home and take care of their families.
Only driving is not a women's business. Men that have cars are the most important people in their communities.
Truck driver prays by the Pamir highway. Delivering products from China is the only way of income left for local men.
The roads in Tajikistan are tough and every driver needs to know how to fix any problem on the road. Otherwise it may take too long for help to arrive, especially in the winter.
Continental climate makes Tajikistan a challenging place to live: summers are very hot and dry and winters are freezing. In many regions there's almost no nature that can survive. It's all rocks and desert.
Conditions for agriculture here are among the most challenging in the world. Nothing grows on this land. People is keeping livestock and rely mostly on rice, that comes from China.
Sunam doesn't show her face, because she's afraid of her husband in Russia can see, that she was talking to a stranger. Even from far away men could be tough and controlling.
Lots of children in Tajikistan see their fathers only on the screen of the smartphone.
Elders of the community also experience a huge lifestyle change, as their children leave to look for a better life and sometimes never come back. In traditional lifestyle elders are the pillars of the family and they're cherished and taken care of.
Elders are reminiscing about the times of Soviet Union, and young people see no future in modern Tajikistan.
Shakhnoza studies at school, where there're no teachers of foreign languages. She learns Russian, English and Farsi by herself with books. Her dream is to become a journalist.
Children here have so little education, that leaves them no hope for a good occupation in future.
The yard with a soviet car Lada from 70s, under maintenance.
Family of 3 generations of women are having a walk above the town of Panjakent. Elder women keep their families together.
Bahor came back home after six years working in Moscow to take care of her old parents.
The country of women. Tajikistan2014
The Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church is the largest and one of the oldest of the Oriental Orthodox Churches originating before European colonization of the continent. Dates back to the acceptance of Christianity by the Kingdom of Aksum in 330AD.
Tewahedo is a Geʽez word meaning "united as one". This word refers to the Oriental Orthodox belief in union of the divine and human natures of Christ.
As opposed to the two natures of Christ human and god commonly held by the Latin and Eastern Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, and Protestant churches.
Most rituals are similar to other Orthodox traditions: baptism for a baby, religious wedding ceremonies, funerals and daily prayers.
Mother is holding her baby during the baptism ceremony symbolizing a mother Mary and looking like her.
Lalibela - an ancient town dating back to 13th century and a symbol of Tewahedo Christianity. 11 churches carved from the solid rock below the ground level are connected with tunnels symbolizing a journey of the soul through darkness to the light - the church.
Lalibela was built to be a symbolic representation of Jerusalem - the holiest christian city. On this picture - it's a ceremony of bringing the holy water to a church of Bethlehem - the birth place of the Christ
Christianity in Ethiopia has a big impact on people's life, praying and rituals take a lot from every day. Symbols of the cross cover every house as a talisman and protection.
Many children have a cross tattooed on their forehead.
Elders spend all day in a church praying and meditating. During service the church is closed, nobody can go in or out to keep the ritual clean.
People in the service are all wearing white as well as priests.
Main priest is wearing festive clothes that change according to holiday calendar and the purpose of the service.
Saturday is the day of bringing the holy water to the church. This day children are being baptized and people receive a splash of holy water as blessing.
Priest is leaving the St. George church after the morning service
Younger seminaries assists the main priest in the service
Service takes more than 2 hours, it's common to sit in anyway the person wants to reach deep meditation state
Debre Birhan Selassie - an ancient church in Gondar, dating back to 15th century. It survived a mass distraction of Christian symbols in Gondar during the attack of Sudanese muslims in 19th century. It's rich decoration is unique, comparing to really minimal decoration of other churches in Ethiopia.
Icons and frescoes are mostly covered to protect from sun and dust
Girls Sunday school
Priests in St. George church during Sunday service
Seminaries during long service in St. George church
If people is late for the ceremony or need to come for a short pray - they stay outside.
Eastern symbol of sun and cross together on the wall in Lalibela
Women praying in front of the small village church in Mehoni
I felt deep connection to Varanasi - the ancient city on the Ganges river in India from the first second I heard about it.
The first thing I remember hearing - is that old people from all over India comes there to sit on the bank of Ganges waiting for their death.
They want to leave this life and be burned in this holy city of Shiva - who's mission is to burn everything old in this world to give place for something new.
And for years I tried to describe that feeling I have in my heart when I'm there, when I think about it, when I look at these pictures. And I couldn't.
Many times I tried to form into words this memory of sitting on this boat in a cold morning fog when the world is not what we know. It was so surreal and it changed something in me. It was a gift for life - that's all I know.
And for many more cold mornings I was wondering around the city and trying to inhale it's spirit and keep it in pictures.
I still feel my words are not enough. So I'll leave it to pictures. Love, Katia