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Posts by: Bianca-Olivia Nita

Photos Capture the Life and Feel of Europe’s Last Dictatorship

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A woman carries the USSR flag during the Kastrychnickaja square rally, marking the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution anniversary on the 7th of November. This day is a state holiday in Belarus. © Andrei Liankevich

War-patriotic game

Children wearing firemen uniforms as they compete in a war-patriotic game called Bastiony hrabrosti (Bravery bastion). The game takes place 60 km (37 miles) east of Minsk at an army base. The game was very popular during USSR times. © Andrei Liankevich

Belarus is Europe’s last dictatorship, a place that seems trapped back in USSR times. Hardly any news comes out of the country and there is limited freedom of speech. This is why Belarusian photographer Andrei Liankevich‘s photo series about his country is quite unique. His Belarus portfolio offers a personal view of the local feel and some of the definitory events and habits in the country.

Liankevich has published a book of this series called Focus on Belarus.

Photos Document the Life of Mongolia’s New Urban Population

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The market economy is changing Mongolia and people’s lifestyle. A large part of the rural population is now moving to the cities. Transitioning from large open spaces to a city lifestyle requires enormous social adjustments. In her series Foyers (Urbains) Mongols, French photographer Lucile Chombart de Lauwe documents the changes in the Mongolian way of life by following the once rural, now urbanized population into their new way of life. The series is focused on the relationship between families and their new environments.

Photos Showcase the Exquisite Intricacy of Iranian Mosques

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The Pink Mosque, or Nasir al-mulk Mosque, is a historical site located in Shiraz, Iran.

Vakil mosque panorama

Vakil mosque was built in the 18th century, during the Zand period. It is located in Shiraz, Iran and covers an area of 8,660 square meters.

About five years ago, Iranian photographer Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji came across a series of photos from the interior of the Egyptian pyramids. That made him wonder whether he could take photos of historical sites as well. A self-taught photographer, he started to experiment with panorama, monument and landscape photography. In this series of photos, he captures the interplay between light and symmetry inside Iranian mosques, showing the world a rarely seen side of the country.

Surprising Portraits of Museum Guardians in Russia

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Stroganov Palace, Russian State Museum

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Matisse Still Life, Hermitage Museum

In Russia, museum guardians are not the usual security men. Traditionally, it is older women guarding the works of art, sitting all day on a chair while looking at the visitors. It’s this that caught American photographer Andy Freeberg‘s eye. “I found the guards as intriguing to observe as the pieces they watch over,” he says. His Guardians series captures the interplay between art and these devoted guardians themselves.

Portraits of Legendary Las Vegas Burlesque Stars Prove that Aging Can Be Sexy

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Stephanie Blake

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Joan Arline, the Sexquire Girl

For her series Dames: The Legends of Burlesque, New-York based photographer Stephanie Diani photographed older dancers wearing costumes that were significant or special to them. They ladies are portrayed in their homes or in the hotel rooms where they stayed in the past while performing in Las Vegas. Their personalities differ, but what they all have in common is grace, courage and self-possession.

‘Silicon Forest’: Photos of Russia’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub

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Genetics graduate student Irina Mukhamedshina poses with her pet and thesis project Viliya, a domesticated fox who lives with her. Her research focuses on training  genetically manipulated foxes. The Institute of Cytology and Genetics one of the most prominent in Akademgorodok, known for Dmitry Belyaev’s decades-long experiment to domesticate wild foxes.

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Sasha Vasiliev, 6, prepares before a violin recital in one of Akademgorodok’s oldest buildings.

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An apartment block in Akademgorodok at night. The town was conjured from nothing by Soviet leaders in 1957 as a meritocratic haven for intellectuals. It featured larger apartments than most Soviet towns at the time.

Somewhere far away, 3,400 kilometers east of Moscow, there is a town called Akademgorodok. The name means ‘Academy Town,’ and it was founded in 1957 to house some of the brightest minds in the Soviet Union. After the fall of the communist regime, most people left the area for better work in the West. These days, Akademgorodok is experiencing a period of revival and it is quickly becoming a hub for 21st century Russian innovation and entrepreneurship. American photographer Grant Slater went there and documented the work, the people, and the atmosphere of the place in a photo series called Silicon Forest.

The Old Believers: Photos Document Pentecost Celebrations in an Old-Rite Orthodox Community in Romania

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Simion, the bell ringer of the Holy Trinity church spreads grass inside the church. This ritual symbolizes people approaching the Garden of Heaven.

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Alexandra, 4, takes part in the Saturday of the Dead ceremony. According to Orthodox traditions, married women are not allowed to enter the pulpit. 

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Ivan Cozma, 68, cleans the floor in the Holy Trinity, the local church built in 1833. The Pentecost celebration will be held here.

The Lipovans are an unique and small community. In the 18th century, they rejected Russian Orthodox Church reforms, a stance that made them no longer welcome in Russia, despite being native to its land. Most of them live now in Romania, but there are Lipovan communities in Ukraine, Moldavia and Bulgaria as well.  To this day, the community preserves old Orthodox rituals, upholding them in the precise way in which they were performed centuries ago. Pentecost is one of their most important celebrations, and Romanian photographer Cristian Munteanu documented the occasion in Carcaliu, a village by the Danube Delta where the population is almost entirely Lipovan.

Soviet Ghosts: Otherworldly Photos Document Decaying Soviet Architecture from Thirteen Countries

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The communist ideology was centered around the idea of progress and industrialization, as ways to achieve an ideal society. The distinct architecture the regime has produced was meant to reflect both these values and also the power of the regime. Twenty-three years after the fall of communism, most of these architectural remains are falling apart. This is what British photographer Rebecca Litchfield set out to document. Her project, Soviet Ghosts, took her to 13 countries which were once part of the Soviet Union or occupied.

Fascinating Photos Explore the Untouched Life of a 200-Year-Old Fishing Village in Nigeria

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The morning traffic on one of Makoko’s main canals. In addition to providing a means of transportation, the canals also serve as marketplace. In the early morning the women start bartering different kinds of goods.

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A beauty salon.

Makoko is a 200-year-old fishing village built on the bank of the Lagos Lagoon in Nigeria. Lagos has recently become one of Nigeria’s economic centers and Africa’s largest city, housing more than 20 million inhabitants. Romanian photographer Petrut Calinescu documented life in this community of fishermen, which has remained untouched by the economic boom around it.

Remarkable Portraits of People Around the World Carrying Symbolic Objects on Their Heads

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Anga, Indonesia

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Aru, Ethiopia

We all know that image of someone carrying a pile of things on their head, walking on a dusty road. This image caught French photographer Floriane De Lassée‘s eye in 2012, while she working on a project in Africa. She has since traveled to 14 different countries, in search of the rural areas where the ancient act of balancing weight atop the head is common practice. How much can you carry? is a collection of almost 70 photos of people from East Africa to Bolivia. They all share this common practice, whether carrying goods to sell to market or transporting household necessities from one place to another.

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