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FV-member Alison Shuman presents her first book, Minarets and Onion Domes: The Tatars and Russians of Kazan

Posted: Friday, February 8th, 2013

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FV-member Alison Shuman is delighted to announce the debut of her recently published book Minarets and Onion Domes: The Tatars and Russians of Kazan, now available for sale! Inside you’ll find 76 pages with 53 full-color images printed and bound on premium luster paper.

Kazan is the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan, one of 21 semi-autonomous ethnic republics in the Russian Federation. It is located at the convergence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers about 800 kilometers east of Moscow. The city’s population is divided almost equally between the Tatars, who are historically Muslim, and the Russians, who are historically Orthodox Christian. The dismantling of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s kindled a slow but steady religious movement across Russia. In Kazan, churches and mosques were rebuilt, the Tatar language became an officially recognized language of Tatarstan alongside Russian, and ancient traditions kept alive in small villages fully integrated back into city life. The 2000s brought a more stable and safe environment and with that came a stronger resurgence of religious and cultural identity. What makes Kazan so extraordinary is that this process has unfolded not only with a marked lack of tension, but often with a spirit of mutual respect.

Alison first came to Kazan in the summer of 2011 to begin photographing life in the city heralded for religious tolerance amongst its half Muslim, half Orthodox Christian population. In the beginning, she went searching for fleeting moments when representatives of different faiths came together to physically create this “tolerant city.” She realized, however, there is no magic moment and that the truth of the situation is much more subtle and profound. Regardless of governments and religious institutions, it is the people who everyday choose cooperation over conflict. One needs to look no further than Russia’s own boundaries to understand the significance of this endeavor, but the majority of people in Kazan don’t give too much thought to their unique situation. When asked, the response is almost always the same- it’s just the way it’s always been.

Minarets and Onion Domes offers not only an alternative view of Muslims and Christians, but also an alternative view of life in modern-day Russia.

To Purchase book: alisonshuman.com/book

View Alison’s FV profile: www.fotovisura.com/user/AlisonShuman

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