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    'In every country the craziest people come from the mountains, and here it is all mountains. There is a tendency to do first and think after.'

    -Reportage by Getty Images Featured Photographer Justyna Mielnikiewicz, on the emotional intensity of people from the southern Caucasus. Mielnikiewicz recently published a book of her decade-long work in the region, titled Woman with a Monkey. Read more on National Geographic Proof.

    Caption: Chechen dancers backstage at a concert hall in the Chechen capital, Grozny. A suicide bomb exploded in front of the concert hall in 2009, killing six people and wounding several others. From the series “Goodbye My Chechnya,” by Reportage contributor Diana Markosian. Diana was named a finalist in this year’s Aftermath Project grant; the winner is Luca Locatelli, for his project “United Colours of War.” Read more about the Aftermath Project on its Web site.

    Diana Markosian, a Reportage Emerging Talent, is presenting work at Photo Center NW in Seattle on Thursday, May 9, at 6:30. Click here for more details.

    Photo Center NW is pleased to host documentary photographer and writer Diana Markosian for a lecture focused on developing a personal visual style as a documentary photographer and photojournalist. Markosian’s reporting has taken her from Russia’s North Caucasus mountains, to the ancient Silk Road in Tajikistan and overland to the remote Wakhan Corridor in northeastern Afghanistan.

    Caption: Seda Makhagieva, 15, wraps a pastel-colored head and neck covering in Chechnya in 2012. Makhagieva fought to wear the hijab - a sharp break from her family’s traditions. See more work from this series, “Goodbye my Chechnya,” on the Reportage Web site. (Photo by Diana Markosian)

    Many eyes turned today to the Caucasus region, as word came that the two Boston bombing suspects are native Chechens. The area has seen its share of hardship, and the story of the suspects’ family is not an uncommon one - beset by conflict, many have fled Chechnya and relocated to nearby territories. Here, images by two Reportage photographers who have covered the Caucasus:

    Top: Refugees from Chechnya at the apartment they rent in Tibilisi, Georgia. Most Chechen refugees moved to the Pankisi Gorge, just over the border into Georgia. The region is largely inhabited by the Kisti, a Chechen group that migrated to Georgia about 200 years ago. (From Caucasus, by Justyna Mielnikiewicz)

    Bottom: Kursum, 55, lives in Nozhay-Yurt district, Chechen Republic. In 2003, two of her sons (aged 21 and 26) disappeared in the middle of the night; they are still missing. Kursum spends most of her time in her greenhouse, which she says helps her to forget about her sons.(From The Causcasus - A Place Seldom Seen, by Marko Kokic/ICRC)


    More than 70 years of Soviet rule, followed by two decades of frequent warfare, inflicted a heavy toll on Chechnya, a small, mostly Muslim republic in southern Russia.

    Russia has effectively crushed the rebel movement in Chechnya; the main city, Grozny, has been rebuilt; and the Chechen government has embarked on a campaign to promote Islam.

    Today, alcohol is all but banned, polygamy encouraged, and single-sex hair salons and gyms are becoming the norm. Some Chechen women say their rights are being curtailed.

    100 Words: Chechen Girls And The Rise of Islam

    Photo Credit: Diana Markosian

    (via lookatthisstory)

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