Tajikistan has been the poorest of the former Soviet States but it also has the poorest state of roads with limited external transportation links and with infrastructure weaknesses, which hinder development. It has been a country of conflict and instability. Between 20,000 and 60,000 people were killed in the first year of the Civil war, when it was at its peak, with most commentators estimating that about 50,000 lives were lost between May and December 1992.
A connection to China has been the hope and expectation for a prosperous development for Tajikistan, notably for the people of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, for close to a decade. Unlike the rest of Tajikistan, Badakhshan remains in geographical isolation from the capital Dushanbe, almost throughout the year due to snowfalls, landslides and flooding.
In 2004 China opened her doors to Tajikistan by reconstructing the road between Murghab and the Qulma pass on the borders, with the intention of expanding her relations but also to promote commerce between the two countries.
Badakhshan’s future development depends very much on a broader connection with Central Asian. In Murghab for example, a district of Badakhshan, lying on an altitude of more than 3500 meters on the border between China and Tajikistan, this dependence is even stronger. Murgab is not suitable for agricultural development; nothing really grows there and life becomes very difficult for the locals.
Today, many countries have started to invest in the Pamir region due to this ‘new opening’ with the intention of expanding their developments aiming to enter the global market.
This sudden change can be seen today as a great way for bilateral relations between the two countries, a political and economical cooperation, allowing the Chinese economy to attract resources from Tajikistan and also Chinese goods to flow into the Central Asian market’s.But it can also be seen as a ‘door’ that has been opened to new social issues.
These images reflect the daily life on the Pamir mountains, a time and place that is in a moment of an evolution. Life is changing rapidly in the area of Badahkshan but a visual silence characterizes also the place, which I strongly wanted to portray through my images.
This grant will enable me to continue this project but mostly it will help me gain more insight into the understanding of how and why this region of the world is constantly evolving, what the social changes will be and to record the struggle of the people in search of an identity.
Along with these photographs, all these described above which were experienced in a long and difficult journey, are also reflected in the documentary "The New Plastic Road", a documentary in progress with producers Angelo Tsaousi and Myrto Papadopoulos.
Myrto Papadopoulos (b. 1978, Athens) finished her studies in 2003 after completing a five-year Fine Arts degree in painting and photography. In 2006, she applied for a photojournalism degree at the ICP (International Centre of Photography) in N.Y where she was granted a scholarship and in 2007 she participated at the Eddie Adams workshop in NY.
She has won various awards and nominations and has taken part in several exhibitions including the Mois off de la photo 08 in Paris, the PHOTOQUAI 2em biennaldu monde 09 at the Museé Quai Branly in Paris the New York photo Festival 09, the Biennale of young artists of Europe XIV bjcem 09, the LOOK3 Between Festival 2010, the DUMBO Arts Festival2011 in Brooklyn NY, the Athens Photo Festival 2011, 2012 and more. Today she works as a freelance photographer and filmmaker.
Her clients include TIME Magazine, Le Monde, GEO, Corriere della sera, EL Mundo , La Stampa, Neue Zuger Zeitung, DAS Magazine, Diario magazine, National Geographic Magazine (Greece), K magazine (Kathimerini), among others.
Address: 6 P. Grigoriou str, Halandri, 15233, Athens/Greece
Telephone: GR +306946689606
Web site: www.myrtopapadopoulos.com
Nationality: Greek/ Canadian
Languages: English, French and Italian
05.10.2007- 08.10.2007// EDDIE ADAMS WORKSHOP-Barnstorm (Michelle McNally/ Vincent Laforet- New York Times)
The Eddie Adams is an intense four-day gathering of professionals in Photojournalism. 50 students and 50 professionals are selected from all over the world.
01.09.2006-01.07.2007// ICP International Center of Photography N.Y
One year Certificate Program, Documentary photography and Photojournalism. Scholarship for the fall term 2006.
A five-year Fine Arts Degree from the Aristotle University of Thessalonica. Majored in Painting and Photography.
FREELANCE CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
2004- Present TIME Magazine, GEO, Le Monde, Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, Neue Zuger Zeitung, DAS Magazine, Vision Magazine, El Mundo, Diario Magazine, Tages Woche, Nat Geo/ Greece, Kathimerini,among others.
Books: Best Sports Photos 2005/ Action images, Staff Photographer
SHIFT Book 2007/ International Center of Photography
KALE Book/ To be published. A book on the Greek- Muslim community In Thrace.
On the Web:
TIME.com: On the road with Golden Dawn, Greece's Ultra Nationalist Party.
LENS Blog New York Times: Life along a road in Tajikistan.
LENS Blog New York Times: In the Grecian caves where time slows down.
VERVE Photo: The New Breed of Documentary Photographers.
LE MONDE: Grece, la detresse des migrants pris au piege de Patras.
EXHIBITIONS PRIZES & NOMINATIONS
19.10.2012 // APhF12/ Athens Photo Festival 2012
“Greek reality”. A group exhibition within the main program of the Athens Photo Festival.
18.03.2012 // Fotovisura Grant 2012
Honorable mention for the series “The New Plastic Road”.
17.01.2012 // Prix Pictet/ Pictet&Cie-Financial Times
Nominated for the fourth cycle of the Prix Pictet for the series “The New Plastic Road”
02.11.2011-02.12.2011 // APhF11/ Athens Photo Festival 2011
A one-man show within the central exhibition of the Athens Photo Festival 2011, with the project “The New Plastic Road”.
23.09.2011- 25.09.2011 // DUMBO Arts Festival 2011, NY
Participation in the Dumbo Arts Festival in Brooklyn with the “Kale” Project.
30.09.2010- 04.11.2010 // GD4Photo Art Award 2010, Italy
Selected to participate within the main exhibition of the Gd4 Photo Art Award at the “Pinacoteca Nazionale” in Bologna, Italy.
11.06.2010- 13.06.2010 // LOOK3 Festival 2010, USA
Nominated and selected to present a personal project at the LOOK Between, along with other artists nominated by groups as diverse as PDN, National Geographic, Humble Arts, Burn Magazine and numerous others.
09.06.2010- 15.08.2010 // CEDEFOP Photomuseum International Award/ The Exhibition
A one-man show within the Archeological Museum of Thessaloniki with the awarded series of “Out on a limb”. First prize at the Cedefop Photomuseum International Award 2008.
05.2010 // Prix Pictet
Nominated for the third cycle of the Prix Pictet for the series “Kale” and “A dream in Transit”
07.11.2009- 06.12.2009 // APhF09/ Athens Photo Festival 2009
Participation within the main exhibition of the Athens Photo Festival 2009, “A Brave New World”.
22.09.2009- 22.11.2009 // PHOTOQUAI 09/ Mussé du Quai Branly, Paris
Selected to present the “Kale” series at the “2em Biennale des images du Monde” at the Museum of Quai Branly. PHOTOQUAI 2009/ La photographie Iranienne à l’honneur.
03.09.2009- 12.09.2009 // BIENNALE 09/ XIV bjcm Scopje 2009
Selected to participate with the “Kale” series in the “Biennale of young artistes of Europe and the Mediterranean”, in Scopje.
14.05.2009- 17.05.2009 // The New York Photo Festival 2009
“The Future of Contemporary Photography”/Satellite Exhibitions Selected to present the “Out on a limb” series within the Satellite Exhibition of the NY Photo Festival.
08.11.2008- 08.12.2008 // APhF 08/ Athens Photo Festival 2008
Participation within the “Panorama” Exhibition of the Hellenic Center of Photography.
20.10.2008 // Memorial Mario Giacomelli 2008/ Grazia Neri, Italy
VIII Premio Fotogafico / Honorable mention for the “Kale” series.
28.10.2008- 19.12.2008 // MOIS OFF De La Photo 2008, Paris/ Fet Art
Selected to present the “Kale” series within the program of Photo-OFF, at the “Mois de la Photo” 2008 in Paris. FET ART and EPSON organized within the month of November in Paris,exhibitions of young European photographers around the theme “Circulations regard de jeunes photographes Européens”.
09.10.2008- 01.11.2008 // APhF08/ Athens Photo Festival 2008
A one-man show within the central program of the Athens Photo Festival 2008, with the “ Kale” project. A project on the Greek-Muslim community of Thrace.
09.07.2008- 04.08.2008 // Photography Museum of Thessaloniki/ “10 Creators interacting”
Five Greek and five Spanish photographers interacting, chosen by their portfolio reviews from the Thessaloniki Photobiennale 08 and the Madrid Photoespagna 07.
04.2008 // CEDEFOP Photomuseum Prize 2008/ First Prize
The Cedefop Photomuseum Award is an international award which revolves around the notion of work and aims at collecting works with social content and interest.
17.04.2008- 19.04.2008 // Portfolio Reviews/ Epson Exceed your vision award/ First Prize Photobiennale 20 th International Photography meeting in Thessaloniiki.
Chosen as best portfolio by 25 reviewers from all over the world.
15.04.2008- 31.05.2008 // Museum of Byzantine Culture/ ECB Annual Photography Award
Participation in the exhibition of the Museum of Byzantine Culture, within the central program of the 20th International Photography meeting in Thessaloniki.
29.10.2007- 14.11.2007 // ECB Annual Photography Award, Frankfurt/ Second Prize
Cultural Days of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt /Exhibition within the European Central Bank. Over the years a digital collection of contemporary photography is built up from the competition entries submitted from the various EU countries.
“THE NEW PLASTIC ROAD” a feature documentary in development:www.thenewplasticroadfilm.com
18.11.2012 // EBU European Documentary Network, Amsterdam
Selected to present the documentary in progress “The New Plastic Road” at the European Documentary Network in Amsterdam.
29.03.2012- 01.04.2012 // MIPDoc International Pitching, Cannes
Selected out of six projects from all over the world, to present “ The New Plastic Road” at the MIPDoc International Pitch, in Cannes.
14.03.2012- 18.03.2012 // EDN European Documentary Network, 2012
Selected to present the project in development “The New Plastic Road” at the pitching forum Docs 2012, which took pace in conjunction with the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival/ Images of the 21st Century.
28.11.2011- 02.12.2011 // STORY DOC 2011, Athens
Pitching the selected documentary “The New Plastic Road” at Story Doc 2011.
“THE BANDITS” a feature documentary in development:
16.03.2011- 20.03.2011 // EDN European Documentary Network, 2011
Selected to present the project in development “The Bandits”at the pitching forum Docs 2011, which took pace in conjunction with the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival/ Images of the 21st Century.
National Broadcast TV/ ERT
Pre-sales on the project in development “The Bandits”