Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Diana Markosian: The Girls of Chechnya

Photo © Diana Markosian-All Rights Reserved
An interesting glimpse in an area that a relatively few are really familiar with...Chechnya, was recently featured by TIME Lightbox.

Diana Markosian's Goodbye My Chechnya is such a glimpse into the lives of young Chechen women who witnessed the horrors of two wars, and are coming of age in a country that is rapidly rediscovering its Muslim laws and traditions.

It's particularly interesting to view Diana's photographs of these Chechen women and their traditions and compare them to Oded Balilty's photographs of the Jewish ultra orthodox communities, which included a series on a traditional Hasidic Jewish wedding.

Two separate religious traditions, often at odds with each other....and yet similar in so many ways. And as both photo essays are made of such compelling photographs, that the comparison between the two from an aesthetic point of view bring this point very clearly to the forefront.

According to Diana Markosian,  Chechnya is experiencing a wave of Islamicization since the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Religious dress codes are the rule, young (and polygamous) marriages are frequent and gender roles are increasingly conservative.